Puebla City Centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is one of Mexico’s best-preserved Spanish Colonial treasures. It contains some 2,600 designated historic buildings. As Mexican cities go, this is a very pedestrian-friendly city and easy to explore on foot. If you’d rather not walk, a red double-decker Turibus runs narrated tours departing every half hour. You’ll find both a bus stop and a tourist information booth in the zocalo.
Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception: built from 1575 – 1640, its towers (at 73.9 m; 244 f) are considered the highest in the country and even Latin America. It is noted for its marble floors, rich gold leaf interior, and awesome main altar – designed by Manuel Tolsa and depicting the kings and queens of 17th century Europe.
Palacio Municipal (Town Hall): Built on the original Spanish authority seat of government, the current Palacio dates from the beginning of the 2oth century, with a strong neoclassical architecture of the period of Dictator Porfirio Diaz. The style was also inspired by French architecture, which was fashionable at that time. In the interior houses a courtyard with a beautiful marble staircase.
Church of Santo Domingo: Considered by some to be Mexico’s most exuberantly decorated temple, Santo Domingo dates from 1650. Its Capilla del Rosario is a dazzling mix of painted tiles, gold leaf, and sculpture. The Chapel dates from the second half of the 17th century and constitutes one of the greatest achievements of baroque art in the Americas. The chapel is laminated with 22k gold over stucco. A true wonder to behold.
Biblioteca Palafoxiana: Don’t miss a visit to the New World’s first public library! This site dates to the 17th century and once housed the hemisphere’s finest collection of manuscripts. Today there are over 43,000 books in its inventory, including rare works from the 15th century. The site is located on the upper level of the Casa de la Cultura, next to the Cathedral.
Some other masterpieces of colonial architecture you can admire in Puebla Centre are the Ex-Convent of Santa Rosa, home to Puebla’s excellent Museo de Artesanias; the Secret Convent of Santa Monica, built in the 17th century; the Museo Universitario - Casa De Los Muñecos, one of the most peculiar examples of civil baroque style in New Spain; the Iglesia de San Francisco, located in the oldest part of the city, and Museo Casa de Alfeñique, that owes its name to the abundant and fine ornamentation of white “argamasa” which looks like the famous sugar candies made in Puebla called “alfeñiques”.