Cholula and Popocatépetl

After work today we had the opportunity to visit the Great Pyramid of Cholula, which is the largest pyramid and monument (by volume) in the world. The huge structure is actually 5 overlapping structures that were created over a period of 10 centuries. The pyramid looks rather unimpressive from the outside, it resembles one of the many other small mountains or hills in the area, but archeologists have excavated miles of tunnels into it. Discovered in 1910 during the construction of an insane asylum, local legends say that the pyramid was so sacred that the people covered it with dirt to protect it from the Spanish conquistadors. But, it was probably covered by dirt from neglect or volcanic eruptions long before the arrival of Cortés.

We returned from Cholula around dusk and as the clouds cleared we were left with a magnificent view of the volcano Popocatépetl, also know as Popo. Smoke can regularly been seen pouring out of the second highest peak in Mexico. The name Popocatépetl comes from the Nahuatl and means smoking mountain. There are various similar legends that link Popo to the nearby Iztaccíhuatl, which is also know as La Mujer Dormida, or the “Sleeping Woman”.

Published: 2008-10-05