Quinta Real Puebla

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Discover the Quinta Real Puebla, which was once established as the Convent of the Immaculate Conception in 1593.

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Quinta Real Puebla, a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2013, dates back to 1593.

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A member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2013, the Quinta Real Puebla was originally constructed at a time when novel approaches to art and science spread throughout world. It specifically debuted as one of the first convents to open in the ancient city of Puebla. For years, there was only one convent in Puebla until Priest Leonardo Ruiz de la Peña was inspired to construct his own in honor of the Virgin Mary. Passionate about his mission, Ruiz de la Peña regularly rode horseback to visit nearby communities and villages. During a visit to a neighboring area, the priest was attempting to cross a river when a flash flood swept him and his horse in its current. Legend has it that a figure in a white dress and blue cloak pulled him from the river to safety. In exchange for his salvation, the priest was motivated to build the “Convent of the Immaculate Conception” in 1593. The convent’s religious order quickly became the wealthiest in the city. Potential postulants were required to be of pure Spanish blood and present a dowry. The amount of the dowry determined the size of the postulant's room, too. Because of the prestige of The Choir of the Conception, women with an exceptional talent for music were exempt from giving dowries. During the Reform War of the late 1850s, the convent was expropriated and used as an army headquarters for the Mexican military. The convent then became a landmark shortly thereafter in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. After the war, the historic structure was left unused and gradually deteriorated. During the mid-1980s, local architect Rodolfo Jimenez Brito established a trust with several investors to restore and convert the location into the luxury historic hotel. Few places in Mexico can rival the brilliant heritage that the Quinta Real Puebla possesses today.

  • About the Location +

    Situated in central Mexico, the city of Puebla is defined by a rich heritage that harkens back centuries. Unlike many other cities in the nation, Puebla itself was never raised upon the foundation of an earlier Native American community. Indeed, the city actually existed as a Spanish settlement ruled directly by the Spanish Crown, which even granted it a royal coat of arms. Many stories persist as to why the Spanish created Puebla in the first place, with the most popular involving a priest named Julián Garcés. According to the legends, Garcés had experienced a vivid dream in which he observed several angels lay out a divine city somewhere in the middle of Mexico. Inspired, he then guided a group of fellow friars along a series of paths from Veracruz. They soon discovered a spot that Garcés believed he saw in his vision. He proceeded build a monastery upon the site and petitioned the reigning Spanish queen, Isabella of Portugal, to develop a city nearby that Garcés referred to as the “Puebla de los Ángeles,” or “City of Angels.” Regardless of its true origins, Puebla eventually emerged in the early 1530s following Hernán Cortés conquest of the region a couple decades prior. The settlement grew rapidly over the next few years, as many Spanish colonists were attracted by the arable land in the surrounding countryside. But Puebla also emerged as an important economic center due to its close proximity to both Mexico City and the port of Veracruz. Soon enough, Puebla was home to many active trade routes that reached places as far away as the prosperous silver mines around Zacatecas. Interestingly, the societal structure of the city was freed from the infamous encomiendas, since the reigning Spanish monarchs felt that the system was too oppressive. As such, Puebla became one of the most unique and culturally diverse communities throughout all of Mexico at the time.

    Puebla’s strong economy maintained its national prestige within Mexico for generations until the onset of political tumult in the 19th century. While the city endured the Mexican War for Independence fairly well, the subsequent Mexican-American War two decades later introduced great hardship for its population. An American army led by General Winfield Scott entered Puebla uncontested in 1847 and left a small garrison behind. A combined force under Mexican generals Joaquín Rea and Antonio López de Santa Anna attempted to besiege the Americans for several weeks afterward. Another American general—Joseph Lane—eventually led a relief column toward Puebla and fought a brief, yet pitched battle with the Mexicans. Puebla finally experienced peace only with the end of the conflict a year later, although it proved to be short-lived. In 1862, Puebla once again became a military target for foreign armies, when the French arrived to seize the community amid their campaign to install a puppet government in Mexico. A massive battle ensued just beyond the city’s borders, with the better prepared French soldiers greatly outnumbering a smaller Mexican army. Despite the odds, the Mexicans managed to soundly defeat the in what many in Mexico now remember as the “Battle of Puebla.” (Interestingly, Mexicans and Mexican Americans still celebrate the victory today during such holidays like “El Día de la Batalla de Puebla” and “Cinco de Mayo.”) Puebla has since then reemerged as one of Mexico’s most prosperous metropolises. It is now a home to all kinds of industry, most notably automobile manufacturing and textiles. But Puebla is also a popular vacation spot among international tourists, including countless cultural heritage travelers. Indeed, many people enjoy touring Puebla’s historic downtown core, which the United Nations recognizes as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


  • About the Architecture +

    Originally an ancient convent, the Quinta Real Puebla still displays the same Spanish colonial architectural aesthetics that first defined it years ago. Also known today as “Spanish Eclectic,” Spanish colonial architecture dates back centuries and is one of the most prolific design aesthetics seen throughout the Americas today. The form itself emerged when the first generations of Spanish colonists began arriving from Europe at the start of the 16th century. Seeking to establish similar settlements to the ones found in their native Spain, the pioneers began to essentially recreate European cities across Mexico. Many of the earliest settlers crafted buildings that combined elements of architectural motifs popular in Spain at the time, including Renaissance, Moorish, and Byzantine forms. Over time, though, those beautiful and extravagant styles were complimented by other, newer forms, such as Neoclassical and Baroque architecture. The amalgamation of all those unique styles eventually produced structures that were incredibly decorative and ornate. But despite the variety in their appearance, they mostly shared the same general layout and qualities. For instance, the buildings typically featured a central courtyard, as well as thick stucco walls that could endure diverse climate of both North and South America. Among the other recognizable features that they possessed included heavy carved doors, spiraled columns, and gabled red-tile roofs, as well. This new stunning architectural form soon defined the landscape of countless Spanish cities in the “New World,” such as Mexico City, Puebla, Guadalajara, and of course, Zacatecas. Many of those buildings still survive to this day, too, with some even preserved as recognized UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


  • Famous Historic Events +

    Battle of Puebla (1862): As dawn broke on the morning of May 5, 1862, some 10,000 Mexican and French soldiers wearily faced off against one another outside of the city of Puebla. The French had come on their way toward Mexico City to install a puppet government friendly to France’s ruler, Emperor Napoleon III. The emperor first decided upon the invasion amid a dispute regarding Mexico’s foreign debt payments, which Mexican president Benito Juárez had suspended following a tumultuous event known as the “Reform War.” In consequence, France, along with Great Britain and Spain, sent fleets to Mexico to force Juárez to resume its payments. While Juárez reached a deal with the British and Spanish, the French took advantage of the situation to try and make Mexico into one of its own satellite states. As such, a sizable French army led by General Charles Ferdinand Latrille—the Comte de Lorencez—landed in the port of Campeche and began pushing inland toward the capital of Mexico City. The Mexican military vainly attempted to slow Lorencez’s advance, losing several battles along the way. As the defeated Mexicans eventually arrived at Puebla, President Juárez instructed General Ignacio Zaragoza to fortify the city at all costs. When the French finally showed up a few days later, the city had been transformed into a fortress. Despite its imposing nature, Lorencez nonetheless opted to directly assault the fortifications. What followed was a pitched battle, in which Lorencez’s men unsuccessfully stormed Zaragoza’s trenches three different times. Suffering heavy casualties, the French soon withdrew from the battlefield. Now an integral part of Mexico’s history, Mexicans today still commemorate the victory through a holiday known as “El Día de la Batalla de Puebla.” Similar celebrations occur in the United States among Mexican Americans, too, with El Día de la Batalla de Puebla gradually evolving into the holiday, “Cinco de Mayo.”


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