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Tlaxcala City

Photo: Dinesh Rao, Meeting

Located at the foot of La Malinche volcano, Tlaxcala City is the capital of the state of Tlaxcala.

Tlaxcala City is a colonial gem.

The Plaza de la Constitución, also known as the Zócalo, boasts several impressive colonial buildings, including the sixteenth-century Government Palace which features colorful twentieth-century murals and the newly-opened Museo de la Memoria (Museum of Memory) which showcases Tlaxcalan history. This plaza is a great place to hear live music on weekends.

The smaller square, Plaza Xicoténcatl, has an excellent Saturday craft market.

The former San Francisco Convent and its open-air chapel was built in 1537 and today houses the Regional Museum of Tlaxcala.

The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions houses displays of masks and costumes worn during regional festivities. Often weavers will be carding wool and working with handlooms.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Nearby is the archaeological site of Cacaxtla, which flourished from the 7th to 10th centuries. After the fall of the nearby city Cholula (650 – 750AD), Cacaxtla became the hegemonic power in this part of the Tlaxcala–Puebla valley. By 1000, the city was abandoned.

The colorful murals here are some of the finest in the country. The site is administered by INAH.

FOOD

Local favorites include Mixiote, a specialty made of mutton marinated in a spicy sauce, wrapped in a maguey leaf and steam-cooked. A lighter meal is bean soup (crema de frijol), served with avocado, cheese, chopped and toasted guajillo chile and fried pork croutons.

FYI. Magueys are abundant in this region and they have multiple uses. Leaves are used to wrap meats and poultry for steaming. Maguey hearts are used to make the pulque drink.

VISITING?

LOCATION — 19.31° N, 98.24° W

Tlaxcala City is located tk kilometers (70 miles) east of Mexico City.

FYI — It is important for travelers to consider that the rainy season in Tlaxcala runs from April to October. Days consist of sunny mornings followed by late-afternoon showers and mild temperatures. The Feria de Tlaxcala takes place from mid-October to mid-November and on the third Monday of May, celebrations are held in honor of the patron saint, the Virgin of Ocotlán.

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