Officially named Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla is the capital and largest city of the state of Puebla and one of the 5 most important colonial cities in Mexico. Often referred to as the "City of Streetlights", it is littered with 1,920 ornate streetlights in the historic downtown area, compliments of the French. Colonial-era planned, it is southeast of Mexico City on the main route between Veracruz and the Atlantic Port of Central Mexico. Puebla, founded in 1531, has a rich cultural heritage and architectural styles ranging from Renaissance to Mexican Baroque. The whole city is a World Heritage Site and famous for its Talavera pottery, the Mexican national dish of "mole poblano" (a concoction of 20 ingredients including chili peppers and chocolate in a sauce served over meat) and "chiles en nogada" (a national dish of chilies filled with a mixture of shredded meat, spices and fruits topped with a walnut-based cream sauce). In fact the city is credited with being the birthplace of Mexican cuisine.
Apart from these delectable local treats, Puebla is awash in college students studying at the prestigious colleges, has the world's largest Volkswagen factory outside of Germany and Audi have their assembly plants here. You will find the world's smallest volcano "Cuexcomate" in the city that has been declared the "Memory of the World" due to its ancient historical center. There are numerous colorful markets to meander through such as "El Parral", "La Acocota" and "del Carmen". The bell towers of Puebla's Cathedral are the tallest in Mexico and there is a "barrio" named Xanenetia awash in murals. There are plenty of museums, swanky shopping areas and a planetarium to stroll around.
The sweet toothed soul should head straight to "Candy Street" to grab some Tortita de Santa Clara, a sweet nugget that looks like a cookie and was originally created by a nun of the Convent of Santa Clara.
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