Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Downtown Tehuacán

As I wrote in my last post, for the three-day weekend of Constitution Day, Alejandro and I took a trip to the city of Tehuacán.  We left on Saturday morning, and we were surprised that traffic was relatively light.  Usually on three-day weekends, the highways are jammed with Mexico City families leaving the city.  Everything went very smoothly until we approached the booth to get off the toll road at the Tehuacán exit.  There was only one booth open, traffic was backed up, and we waited for a half hour.

We got to our hotel at about 2:00 PM.  It was a very modern, pleasant place called Hotel Zenith, located just a couple blocks for the town square.  

As I mentioned, the city itself does not have much in the way of tourist sights.  The main plaza is pretty and on the holiday weekend was very lively.

Day and night Tehuacán families were strolling around the plaza or sitting on the benches.  There were vendors and street performers, and on Sunday evening local musicians gave a concert on  the bandstand.  It was a charming and typical image of life in a provincial Mexican town.  

Facing the plaza is the Cathedral of Tehuacán which was built in the 18th century.

The interior is more impressive than I was expecting.

Also facing the town square is the city hall, a very pretty colonial era building reminiscent of the architecture in the state capital of Puebla.

Murals paintings within the portico of the city depict the history of the city.

Tehuacán's greatest claim to historical fame is as the "Cradle of Corn".  Archaeologists have determined that more than 5000 years ago, corn was first cultivated in the Valley of Tehuacán.  The development of agriculture was a crucial step which led to the development of civilizations throughout the Americas. 

A few blocks away from the plaza is another colonial church, El Carmen.

In the former Franciscan monastery that adjoins the church is a small, rather poorly curated museum, The Museum of the Valley of Tehuacán.  It contains some pre-Hispanic artifacts from the region.

Probably the most interesting thing in the museum is a mural created in 2002 which decorates one wall of the main hall.   It depicts Xillonen, the Aztec goddess of corn.  It is made of kernels of different colors of corn.

Although there is not much to see within the city, there are some fascinating places nearby.  Those sights will be covered in the following posts.


  1. Wow! I love the corn mural. Very impressive!

    1. Unfortunately, that was the most impressive thing in the museum.