Legend relays a dream the Bishop of Tlaxcala (Julian Garces) had in which angels lead him to a large valley where he was to build a city. In 1531 the city of Puebla was founded in a highland valley (7000 ft.) surrounded by 4 volcanoes and became known as "Puebla de Los Angeles" (also called Angelopolis).
Unlike most Spanish colonies, Puebla was not built on top of a newly conquered Indian city. The city was laid out in a traditional grid plan with buildings based on contemporary Spanish design. A European city . . . a piece of the old world in the new. As the city was located half way between Veracruz and Mexico City, it quickly became an important colonial city.
In commemoration of General Ignacio Zaragoza's victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 (Cinco de Mayo), Puebla gained a new name . . . Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza.
Puebla is one of the oldest Spanish colonial cities and the centro historico remains the most European in look and feel.
The city has been important since it was founded almost 500 years ago. It is Mexico's 4th largest city and a strong industrial center. Puebla has onyx quarries, cotton mills, produces textiles, pottery, and has a Volkswagen factory that produces cars bound for all points in North America.