The Spanish built the city of Puebla in 1531 between two existing indigenous cities in the shadow of mount Popocatépetl, a semi active volcano. One of these cities is Cholula, the most important settlement of ancient Mexico, was established between 800 and 200 B.C. and is considered the oldest continually inhabited city in the country. Its people also built the Great Pyramid of Puebla, dedicated to the god of rain, one of the largest pyramids in the world. The Spanish built their city on the Mexico City to Veracruz trade route. Built as a new city instead of on the ruins of a conqured city it features a Renaissance urban grid formed by rectangular squares laid out in a northeast-southeast orientation.
Puebla’s outstanding architectural buildings are Baroque, Renaissance and Classic is the reason the city was chosen as a World Heritage Site. It historical buildings are considered the heart and soul of Mexican Baroque. Many are decorated with multicolored tiles. The area has an abundance of quality pottery clay. The Spanish from Talavera de la Reina brought modern European pottery making skills with a fusion of European and indigenous styles began Poblano Talavera. Though still produced today good quality true Talavera pottery is very expensive. Every year on 5 May, Puebla celebrates the defeat of invading French troops here in 1862. This was the start of America's Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo. The city is also known for the large Lebanese population and food.
Today Puebla is a large manufacturing city with a well-preserved historical district. Once mainly visited by tourists it is now a destination for its suburban citizens looking for nightlife, food, and shopping. This pumps more money into the area which helps improve the district as it grows.