Before visiting Puebla, I didn’t associate Mexico with some of the finest Baroque architecture in the world. The influence of the Spanish is very evident in the architecture of Puebla and it has been designated as a world heritage site. Perhaps the most awe inspiring examples are housed within Puebla’s many churches and its cathedral.
The cathedral is a dramatic building adjacent to the Zocalo, the city’s main square. It was started in 1575 and took 300 years to complete. Entering it reminded me of the cathedrals in England with their extremely high ceilings. The decoration inside is truly spectacular as you can see below.
Another church of particular note is the Church of Santo Domingo, and within it the Chapel of the Rosario. For me, the chapel is is one of the most splendidly decorated places I have visited. The chapel is gilded with gold and the sculptures are absolutely beautiful. In a worldwide competition in recent years, it was noted as a strong candidate for the title of Eighth Wonder of the World and I can see why. The amount of gold that has been used is stunning.
Some may question the value of creating such an expensive decoration, when the local people could have benefitted from the money. At the time of creation, if the costs were instead split and given to each member of the population, it would have provided a welcome bonus for food etc for a short period. Instead of that the people have a magnificent church to visit every day of their lives. It is an interesting trade off and certainly a result to be proud of.
As you will see in my later posts, Puebla and the surrounding areas have many beautiful churches. It is a bonus I hadn’t expected.
The gilded gold churches and the poverty of the country, as a whole, is hard to reconcile, to me. Not unlike many other places in the world, however. Beautiful, splended detailed pictures, Andy. Once again!
Gayle, I agree, this is another one of those difficult questions!