a day trip in this beautiful colored town
"the huge pyramid with church on top"
Usually you come here to visit this. It was actually quite impressive, especially to walk inside the tunnels down the pyramide
*In pre-Columbian times, Cholula was a large city and the religious capital of highland Mexico. Construction on the Great Pyramid was undertaken in four stages beginning around the 2nd century BC. It was dedicated to the deity Quetzalcoatl.
The first two stages date from the Classic period; the earliest pyramid was built at about the same time as the pyramids of Teotihuacan (c.100 BC). It has the talud-tablero motif characteristic of Teotihuacan and is painted with insect-like designs in red, yellow and black, also in Classic Teotihuacan style. The strong similarities have led some scholars to conclude that Cholula was a sister city to Teotihuacan.
The second Great Pyramid at Cholula was built right over the first one and no longer imitated Teotihuacan forms. The builders created a radial pyramid with stairs covering all four sides so that the summit could be approached from any direction. It was 590 feet (180m) long on each side.
After the Toltecs conquered this region around 1200, they used the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (under the current town square) as their ceremonial center, leaving the Great Pyramid as a monumental ruin. In 1359, the kingdom of Huexotzingo (enemies of the Aztecs) took over Cholula. By the time the Spanish conquered at Cholula, the Great Pyramid had been a ruin for so long that they thought it was just a natural hill.
( source: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/mexico/cholula-great-pyramid.htm)
"stroll around the many colored streets..."
this is what I loved most
"I WAS PISSED!!!"
there is a very good reason why i look pissed in the picture above.
one morning long ago, when i was but a child of, hmmm, i'd say two years, three months and seventeen days, my mom was reading one of those ladybird "learn about" books to me. when the topic was about volcanoes, the example given in the book was mt. popocatepetl. now, even for an adult, this is a definite tongue-twister (go ahead, try to say it three times in a row). we then spent the next thirty seconds making sure i was able to pronounce it - thirty seconds was all it took because i was a very smart kid (it's been downhill ever since, sadly).
so, when the chance to finally see this volcano of my youth came around, we jumped at it. it was going to be a grand reunion of sorts!
wouldn't you know it, before we got there, the news came out on our taxi's radio that mt. popocatepetl started spewing smoke for the first time in ages! AGES! five minutes later, our taxi suffered a flat tire - but that's another story.
after traveling all that way, you think i was able to see it in all the smoke and haze?
you think i'd get a break for a change?
HIJO DE PUT@!!!
this was when i really started to seriously consider that a black cloud was following me wherever i went. the blizzards in new york, the storms that hit the cities i traveled to the moment i arrived, the parrot fish attack - oh wait, that was underwater, but i think it happened on a cloudy day.
(this theory would later be reinforced by several other similar incidents, including the fact that the great wall was covered by the thickest haze imaginable when i went there)
well, we did see great views of the rest of cholula from the church, nuestra senora de los remedios.
this is the only part of the great pyramid that's been restored. the entire mountain where the church is perched covers the rest of the pyramid - amazing!
(that little speck at the top is me)
"It takes an hour from Puebla"
What I LIKED about Cholula are the RUINS, of course. You pay about $3 to enter into what felt like a mine shaft that is completely DARK, COOL, DANK and crowded. I was a bit nervous as some of the Mexican tourists ahead of me kept stopping to look at scratches in the wall or a relic in a hole. At one point, there was an angry MOB behind me yelling to get the slo-pokes up front moving. Once you're out of the cavern you find yourself upon a lower landing in front of a church. Then you walk around this mountain up a hill PAST food, chatchkey and religious vendors up to the church.
Lovely yellow church on top of a mountain as is usually the case in Mexico as the Spaniards BUILD most of their Catherdals right on top of the Indigeonous' .. So the discovery of the ruins UNDER and AROUND the church is the tourist attraction.
I hope this makes sense.
"Pyramids around the Church"
So, around the Church you will be amazed at the views that can be found. It is also amazing to see the ruins peeking out from the sides of the mountain as this area is STILL being renovated.
"Here are the ruins"
So, someday in the future, we'll be able to see the ENTIRE PYRAMID!
This is just a LEG of it ...
Cholula is the largest pyramid by base on Earth. When Hernan Cortez arrived on this town, he got confused with the overgrown vegetation and so ordered the construction of a beautiful church on top. Archeologist today have dugged in several tunnels to prove that this is indeed a Pyramid and not a hill.