Thursday, April 4, 2013

An Exhacienda, Squash Flower Quesadillas, and the Pyramids of Tlaxcala

After spending two weeks in Mexico City, we are back on the move!  We started our drive in the early afternoon yesterday, and it took us about an hour to get out of the city and onto the highway heading for the state of Tlaxcala.  I could feel myself start to relax as we left the hair raising traffic and crazy drivers behind us and started to see some wide open spaces. 

Our first stop along the way was actually in the state of Puebla, at a popular tourist destination called The Exhacienda de Chautla.  Now owned and operated by the state, it was once a private hacienda consisting of a Manor House and and an English style residence hall.  One time owner Eulogio Gillow introduced electricity in 1903 by building Latin America's first hydroelectric power plant on the estate.  The residence hall is now a popular place for filming for film and television.
The Manor house is now a museum, featuring fine art,  a beautiful Talavera tile kitchen
with elaborate hand painted furniture,
a gorgeous tiled fountain in the courtyard,
and a unique stained glass window in the chapel. 
There are two abandoned swimming pools on the property.  You know how I can't resist a swimming pool, and I found this one very interesting to photograph.
After our visit to the hacienda, we got back on the road and stopped near Cacaxtla, where we spent the night.

Wednesday we visited the towns of Cacaxtla and Xochitecatl, both towns being home to pyramids in the state of Tlaxcala.  The first thing that caught my eye is that some people still drive a horse and cart through the town here.
We stopped for lunch in the town square, where Eduardo had a squash flower quesadilla.  Pretty enough to eat?
Cacaxtla is a clean beautiful town, with, of course, an interesting church.
The inside of the church was filled with the fragrance of flowers, left over from Easter Sunday,
and of course it had its share of unique, dramatic statues.
From the church we walked a short distance to visit the archeological site of Cacaxtla.  The streets were littered with purple confetti, another reminder of last weeks Semana Santa celebration.
When we reached the pyramid, we noticed it was covered by a large steel roof to protect the murals inside from the harsh rays of the sun.
The ruins are over 1,000 years old,
 and the murals are colorful and well preserved.
The price of the admission ticket of 55 pesos (less than $5.00) also includes access to the pyramids of Xochitecatl, which is visible from Cacaxtla, and a short drive away.

At Xochitecatl, built around 800 BC, there is the Pyramid of Flowers,
the serpent building, and the spiral building.  The spiral building is the only know pyramid of this shape.
These pyramids are built on top of an extinct volcanic dome, and appear to have been built purely for ceremonial purposes in honor to women.  There was a large excavation at the site revealing many statues of women in all stages of life, and there is a museum on the grounds with many of the statues.
I just love the prehispanic art featuring women, and I am particularly drawn to the ones that include the babies!
Visiting the pyramids is physically very challenging, because you have to walk quite a ways just to get to them, and then it's a long way up!!  But it has been worth the effort, and I am so happy to be able to have this unforgettable experience.  Tonight I will sleep like a baby from all that climbing.

Sweet dreams to you all and Buenas Noches.

xo Linda

1 comment:

  1. your calves will be in the best shape of your life after all that stair climbing!!

    love that there's a pyramid just to honor awesome...and i love those last two statues!!