The city of Cholula is located just west of the state capital of Puebla and is part of its metropolitan area. The city is divided into two municipalities called San Pedro Cholula and San Andrés Cholula, The main plaza of the city is located in the municipality of San Pedro Cholula, but the Pyramid, located only a few blocks away, is located in San Andrés Cholula. Kind of confusing.
The pyramid in Cholula is thought to be the largest in the world. When most people think of pyramids they tend to think of the ones in Egypt being the largest. but the one in Cholula is actually the largest in volume. It's 1,395 ft square at the base and stands 203 ft high. Brian found an interesting interactive website comparing some of the worlds' pyramids at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Comparison_of_pyramids.svg
The pyramid has been rebuilt 7 times, often layer upon layer, and is currently undergoing excavation and reconstruction. The photo above shows some of the excavated ruins. To get a perspective on size notice the pickup truck and workers on the ruins, with the buried pyramid and church on top in the background.
Archaeologists have also excavated 5 miles of tunnels under the pyramid and have identified at least 4 stages of construction between 200 BC and 800 AD. We walked through some of the tunnels and there were several spots cut into the tunnels where we could get a glimpse of what we think are earlier incarnations of the pyramid.
It was a bit of a hike to reach the Church of Nuestra Senora de los Remidios on the top of the pyramid. It was originally built in 1594, then completely rebuilt between 1868 and 1874 after an earthquake.
There was a lot of tile work on the church and cupola, which is typical of this area.
We were able to go into the church and it was one of the most beautiful and well-maintained that we've seen. No photographs were allowed, but Brian was able to find one on the internet.
After lunch we walked around Cholula for a while, crossing over into the San Pedro section. We came across another interesting church near the zocalo in San Pedro called the San Gabriel Convento
We were able to go inside the church which wasn't as elaborate of some of the churches we've been to in Mexico, but still very nice.
Next to the Convento is the Capilla Royal. It has 49 tiled cupolas and was built in 1540. This was the first we've seen of this type of building.
We weren't able to go inside of the Capilla Royal, which is a shame. I got the photo below off the internet and it looks as though the light coming through all the domes is pretty spectacular.
All in all, an interesting day for us.