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5 Colonial Cities In Mexico That You Didn't Know Existed

5 Colonial Cities In Mexico That You Didn't Know Existed

Posted by PanamericanWorld on May 05, 2014

The Cinco de Mayo holiday (celebrated on, as the name suggests, the fifth of May) has its roots in the Mexican state of Puebla, where outnumbered Mexican forces managed a near-miraculous defeat of the French army when troops invaded in 1862. The victory was short-lived, as the French conquered Mexico soon after and remained in power until 1867. To this day, French influence can be witnessed throughout Puebla’s awe-inspiring architecture, though few people are aware of the tumultuous history behind Puebla's beautiful cities.

In addition to French influence in Puebla, evidence of Spain's rich colonial legacy can be witnessed throughout Mexico. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés' brutal siege of the Aztec empire in 1521 meant that Mexico’s indigenous people were superimposed with European architecture, ideals, and traditions for the three centuries that ensued. This brought a unique cultural fusion that resulted in colonial cities that still exude architectural prowess, tempestuous history, and cultural richness.

Yes, there is much more to Mexico than Instagram-perfect, #nofilter beaches and margaritas. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’re bringing you five colonial gems in Mexico that you didn’t know existed.

It would be a terrible mistake to omit the state responsible for what has essentially become an American holiday. Nestled in the center of Mexico, at the foot of the nation’s second and third largest volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, Puebla is the fourth largest city in Mexico and one of its oldest. 

Cuernavaca is the capital and largest city of the state of Morelos located just south of Mexico City. The city was nicknamed the "City of Eternal Spring" because of this warm climate year long and lush gardens. 

San Luis Potosi is an elegant colonial city named after Louis IX of France with some of the richest silver mines in Mexico

Guanajuato is another charming city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site hidden in a valley by the Sierra de Guanajuato Mountains, just five hours northwest of Mexico City. 

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