In a broad, high valley about 60 miles southeast of Mexico City is a city known by many names over the years: City of Angels, City of Tiles, Heroic City of Zaragoza. Today we know it simply as Puebla.
Established by the Spanish in 1531 on the main route between the port of Veracruz (the most important port in Mexico) and Mexico City, Puebla was the principal city of Colonial Mexico. Puebla's appearance is the most European of all the Colonial cities, because it was planned from the ground up by a Spanish city designer rather than being built within an existing Indian community.
By 1539, Puebla had a university and was on its way to becoming well known throughout Mexico for milling, textiles, exquisitely decorated pottery and tiles, and for the architectural beauty of its buildings.
Although modern Puebla is highly industrialized, its historic downtown remains a Spanish Colonial treasure filled with elegant 17th and 18th century European architecture and art. When you add a temperate climate year-around, friendly and courteous residents (called poblanos) and delicious regional cuisine, Puebla becomes the ideal place to learn Spanish.