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Tlaxcala de Xicohténcatl

The city of Tlaxcala de Xicohténcatl is the capital and largest state of Tlaxcala, in turn, also the most populated, known as the cradle of American Christianity. Tlaxcala derives its name from Texcallan, meaning, “place between rocks”, and then change its name to Tlaxcallan (instead of tortillas or cornbread), both of Nahuatl origin. Its population in 2010 was 296,231 inhabitants, with a density of 1,718 people per square kilometer. 1.38% of the adults speak an indigenous language.

The first people who lived in Tlaxcala date from 12,000 years ago. It is known that these first inhabitants survived by gathering wild fruits and hunting. Later these tasks are divided between men (catch small animals and hunting) and women (fruit collection).

Its metropolitan area has two sites declared by the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) as areas of historical monuments. One such site is the historic center of the city of Tlaxcala, and the second is Paul Apetatitlán. Tizatlán is 8 hectares in seven sections showing various plant populations. Supermarkets, department stores, convenience stores and retail franchises govern Tlaxcala trade.

An important event is the carnival, in which dances and music were created by the Tlaxcala Indians from the assimilation of European dances and music between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The night also has life in Tlaxcala, you can enjoy a walk at sunset through the historic center, or if you prefer you can go out to clubs to dance, listen to live music at different genres and listen to live bands.


The name of Tlaxcala most likely comes from a Nahuatl phrase meaning "place of tortillas." The Aztec glyph for the Mesoamerican domain is two hills from which emerges a pair of hands making a tortilla.

The area where today houses Tlaxcala was governed by a coalition of four domains called Tepeticpac, Ocotelolco, Tizatlán and Quiahuiztlán who joined in the 14th century to defend against the Aztecs and other enemies. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Tlaxcala was one of the most important areas of Mesoamerica commercial ties with the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean and Central America.

As the Aztec Empire grew, they conquered the residents of Tlaxcala, but left the domain in order to perform the annual ritual combat called the "Flower Wars," which sought to conquer but to capture soldiers for sacrifice, this action cut trade of Tlaxcala. This was the case until the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century that were allied against the Aztecs. Tlaxcala offered a base where the Spaniards could rest and regroup after the sad night when they expelled from Tenochtitlan.

Despite the military alliance of the Tlaxcala, it still did not have a capital. It was not until after the Spanish conquest that Tlaxcala was chosen as a base for the evangelization of the natives. Although the exact date is unknown, it is estimated that the city was founded in the spring of 1522. Tlaxcala was the fifth diocese to be established in the Americas and the second in Mexico, after Yucatán. The first bishop was Julian Garces and the headquarters was established in 1527. 

However, since there was a cathedral in the city of Puebla and not in Tlaxcala, the headquarters was moved to Puebla in 1539 and has remained there ever since. The original territory of the diocese includes the states of Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Tabasco, Hidalgo and Guerrero, but as new dioceses were erected, the territory fell to the present, the states of Puebla and Tlaxcala. In 1903, the name of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tlaxcala was changed to the Diocese of Puebla.

Since the Spanish conquest, Indian population in the area was reduced dramatically Tlaxcala. Documents from 1625 indicate that the population was reduced from 300,000 to 700 in the XVI century. In 1537 it began building the monastery of San Francisco.  The city became the center of the identity of Tlaxcala during the colonial period. Its commercial activated initially focused on the main square, but was eventually moved to the outskirts of the city.

When the New Spain was divided into five major provinces, Tlaxcala became the capital of one of them.  Certain rights as an ally were promised to Tlaxcala during the Conquest. Several of these agreements were not kept and most Indians eventually lost their land in the city and lost many of their rights in the same trade.

In 1692, low grain was the cause of a revolt against the governor Manuel Bustamante and Bustillo.

The city of Tlaxcala became a municipality in 1813, according to the Spanish Constitution of 1812.

It was not until 1867 that France lost control of the city after the tlaxcaltecas forces lead by Porfirio Diaz, freed the city.  Porfirio Diaz then continues with the freeing of Puebla, Queretaro and Mexico City.

Tlaxcala experimented an era of development in the nineteenth century at the hands of Prospero Cahuantzi, who promoted public works such as kiosks, streets, public markets, bridges and government buildings. The city changed oil lamps to electricity in the historic center, the state government palace was remodeled and the Xicohténcatl Theatre was built. Electricity for the city is generated by hydroelectric projects in the river channel blacks.

After the Mexican Revolution, the city recovered and began to grow again, reaching a population of 6000 to 1927. In the mid-twentieth century, public education has improved in middle and high school levels. They were carried out more public works to give the city the way it looks today.


The state is located in the central-east of the country limited mostly to Puebla to the north, east and south, the west by the State of Mexico and the northwest by Hidalgo. The entity is located in the region of Neovolcanic, in a belt that runs through the central part of Mexico, from east to west until you reach the sea on both sides. In the landscape of volcanoes and volcanic mountains all types and sizes, vast plains that once were rounded lakes between mountains and forests, grassland and shrub land of temperate climate are distinguished.



The 99.2% of the surface has been temperate humid, 0.6% has semidry climate, located toward the eastern region, the remaining 0.2% have cold climate, located in the summit of La Malinche. The average annual temperature is 14° C, the average maximum temperature is around 25° C and in the months of April and May, the average minimum temperature is 1.5° C in January. The state average rainfall is 720 mm per year, the rainfall occurs in the summer months of June to September.



The main economic source of Tlaxcala is textiles, which houses its main development in the municipalities of Santa Ana Chiautempan and Contla de Juan Cuamatzi; followed by manufacturing and agriculture. These are the main sources of income for the Tlaxcala. It’s noted that in the municipality of Santa Cruz Tlaxcala the ex factory San Manuel, and textile, which are currently houses the facilities at UNAM. This factory was very important in many years for the economy of Tlaxcala.



The mixture of pre-Hispanic food with ingredients and meat brought from Europe created a mixture of flavors and odors. The maguey cactus and field herbs became major elements of typical regional food and Tlaxcala. Many dishes have names given in Nahuatl origin.


The tlaxcalteca kitchen is divided by two regions: the north where the barbecue, mixiotes and chinicuiles is prepared, while in the south tamales from dough flavored with anise and beans, turkey mole, mole holidays, mole pot, dark mass, among other things are made.

Maguey worms: Maguey worms provide a delicacy. It’s preparation simply with butter.

Barbecue pit: These are meat dishes: armadillos, turkeys, rabbits and other species in the region, cooked with great skill. Today they also have chicken, mutton and carp mixes.

Pulque: Pre-Hispanic drink of excellence, prepared from the fermentation of mead (juice of the maguey heart).

Tortilla: Prepared with ground corn mixed with water. Once prepared, it accompanies all tlaxcalteca meals, and is used to create enchiladas, chilaquiles, chips and quesadillas among other dishes.

Huazontles:  Tartars stuffed with shredded cheese in a rich tomato sauce and spices.

Bean broth: A pan cooked green beans in water seasoned by taste accompanied by nopales, thyme and chipotle.

Mole in a pot: Typical Mexican food made with vegetables, beef and Saucer species.

Tocatlán Chicken: The peppered chicken pieces served with vegetables and Oaxaca cheese, topped with sauce and placed on sheets of mixiote. Then steam cooked.

Escameles (ant eggs). Generally roasted with butter and vegetables contain a high nutritional value and a very fine, slightly sweet flavor.



Carnival in Tlaxcala

A week of festivities held in various municipalities in Tlaxcala during February culminating on Palm Sunday.

It started in the seventeenth century, from the sumptuous feasts of Spanish farmers, to which access is denied to; the Indians, in response, danced in courtyards, squares and streets, imitating, sarcastically the parties of their employers, they wore extravagant costumes and made strange movements with their dances and covered their face with a mask white skin and light eyes.

Today, more than 60 tlaxcaltecas towns celebrate the carnival with a variety of dances, costumes, masks, giving each region its distinctive touch and together creating a fantastic kaleidoscope culture, full of color, joy and tradition.

Apizaco Fair

Fair conducted each year from February to March in the city of Apizaco where participants will enjoy religious ceremonies, sporting events, people theater, folk dances, bullfights, charreria, rodeos and dances, rides, popular expo, craft sells and delicious food.

The Great Fair of Tlaxcala

First launched by President Adolfo Lopez Mateos in 1963. This event will gather 25 days domestic and foreign visitors to give life to this very festival that takes place in the last week of October and the first three weeks of November, which include the participation of 60 municipalities in the state, who come with different craft and food fairs and also include bullfights, horse shows, livestock exhibits and performances. Tlaxcala Fair is also known for intertwining with the feast of All Saints or Days of the Dead.

International Puppet Festival

No place would be more suitable to Tlaxcala for with being the city with the oldest puppet theater in Mexico. In 1835 the Rosete Aranda brothers founded their company in Huamantla and have created over 5000 puppets over three generations. The number of fans of this art grew but lacked of a space where artists could express and showcase their art. For this reason, the International Puppet Festival was organized for the first time in 1985.

Its success and acceptance it has established one of the largest festivals of its kind in the state of Tlaxcala. To date, more than 400 groups from around the world have participated in the International Puppet Festival of Tlaxcala.

Huamantla Fair

Every year in August the city celebrates its traditional Huamantla Huamantla Fair which offers a variety of attractions that are evidence of their cultural identity, religious heritage and delicious cuisine that has been preserved through the years.  Among the activities carried out include: younker car race, parade of flowers, Night That nobody sleeps and Traditional Huamantla Fair.

National Serape Fair

This fair takes place in the town of Santa Ana Chiautempan of the Chiautempan Township in July. During this festival they will be held: dances, religious ceremonies, cultural events, parades, competitions, sports and arts and fine fabrics samples which are processed into overcoats, tapestries, blankets, scarves, among other beautiful items.

Feast of Our Lady of Ocotlan

Ocotlan Sanctuary is located on top of a hill in the city of Tlaxcala. It is site of the great celebration of the Virgin of Ocotlan every third Monday of May with various sporting and social events and renowned procession of "The Descent" of the Virgin to the city of Tlaxcala. The streets are decorated with flowers, papers, garlands and long carpets of flowers and colored sawdust for this celebration.

Fiesta de San Miguel del Milagro

Traditional festival held in September in the village of San Miguel del Milagro, in Nativitas, Tlaxcala when it celebrates the appearance of the Archangel Michael to the native Diego Lazaro, informing him that there would spring a spring of miraculous water. Before that event, a chapel and later a church was built. It is the most famous sanctuaries of Tlaxcala. During this holiday people take to the streets of the town to remember the first appearance of the Archangel with music, fireworks and dancing.

Pulque party

Every March the city of Nanacamilpa dresses in celebration of Feast of Pulque. The festivities are held on the first square of the city involving the major producers in the region, which also give away some of their products to visitors, as well as natural or curing industries based in the municipality pulque.

Magic Towns



Town and municipality located on the route " Textiles and Center" about 15 km northwest of Tlaxcala. Its name comes from the Nahuatl language and means "place of thin water" or "creek". Apizaco is considered the second most important city in the state, behind Tlaxcala, due to its industrial, economic, commercial and tourism development. Here visitors will find places and interesting to visit and enjoy as the little machine, Stone House Museum and Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy aspects.


Located 19 km southwest of the capital of Tlaxcala. The original name of the town was Yancuitlalpan, which means "new earth". Cacaxtla Archaeological Zone was discovered in 1975 and belonged to the Olmec civilization that settled around 400 BC. The site is known worldwide for the quality of its murals that adorn its religious buildings, residences, temples and pyramids.  Cacaxtla is part of an exceptional archaeological who are Xochitécatl and San Miguel del Milagro.


Calpulalpan comes from the Nahuatl, "Calpulli" and "bread"; together meaning is "place of great houses." It is located 65 Km. of the city of Tlaxcala and 66 Km. from the city of Mexico by the federal highway Mexico-Veracruz. Calpulalpan was an Indian village and place of passage for traders heading pochtecas Tenochtitlan. It was established in 1560 when the Spanish built the church and convent of St. Simon and St. Jude, raised to city status in 1937.  Calpulalpan Township is integrated into the tourist route "Calpulalpan and Poniente". During the tour visitors will appreciate the wealth of the commercial area, and important archaeological areas of finance helmets.


Huamantla is located 42 kilometers from Tlaxcala at the foot of Malitzin volcano. The beginning of the town is credited to the Spanish Cortes when he settled for a few days in this area inhabited by Otomi, waiting for news of the messenger who had sent Manors the Republic of Tlaxcala. It was officially founded on October 18, 1534.
Come witness as the streets are full of flowers and colors during the fair every year in honor of the Virgin of the Assumption, likewise, come see the ancient pulque estates, inheritance traditions of Otomi, taurine passion and magnificent puppets

Places of interest


Basilica of Our Lady of Ocotlan

Built in 1541 after the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego Bernardino when it asked its construction. It is located in the historic center of Tlaxcala. The Basilica is one of the main pilgrimage centers in the country and one of the highest expressions of the Baroque Churrigueresque. Its interior is full of symbolism and religious art, highlighting the figure of Our Lady of Ocotlan, which they say changes color between red and pale.

Open Chapel


Also called Chapel of Rosario and El Humilladero, constructed in the year 1528 by the Franciscans. It is considered one of the most beautiful opened chapels in the country. It is composed of three colonial arches and has a semicircular vaulted Gothic style.

Hall House

Construction of the XVI-XIX century neoclassical style. In its life several changes took place, especially in the twentieth century. The government bought and restored in 1985. In its interior can be found nineteenth century ironwork and the beautiful fountain carved in stone and placed in the central courtyard. Its long arches, housing the busiest portals called Hidalgo and Parian, the middle part it has access to the Town Hall, whose facade is neoclassical.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption

Ex-old Franciscan convent, built in the sixteenth century between the years 1530 and 1536, formerly known as the Temple of San Francisco de Assisi. Today considered one of the oldest and most beautiful to be unique in its kind to have its bell tower separate from the monastery complex and retain therein a Mudejar coffered ceiling among other architectural and artistic treasures of important cultural value.

Mercado Alternativo Tlaxcala

Organic market opened every Friday in St. Nicholas Park. Here you can find a variety of products harvested responsibly, ensuring the best in quality and health. Among the products you'll find: cheeses, vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, salsas and tortillas.

Museum of Memory

An impressive colonial construction built during the second half of the sixteenth century. Its exterior looks dated and a charming interior displays works that show the development of regional history and activity of the people who played an important role in shaping the country.

The museum has five rooms: The Republic of natural, material world, Devotions, memory and diaspora, which summarize topics about the first settlers and conquest.

National Puppet Museum

Only museum of its kind, located in an old house in Huamantla. Exhibits a brilliant collection of puppets and dolls that belonged to the brothers Rosete Aranda, famous puppeteers nineteenth century. The eight rooms include puppets from around the world, including Germany, France, Italy, Indonesia and Pakistan, among others.

Tlaxcala Regional Museum

Housed in the former Franciscan convent built between 1537 and 1542. The building reopened as a museum in August 2014. Its interior shows a complete view of the history of the organization. It includes geographical and geological aspects from other references to the post-revolutionary period, the pre-Hispanic and Spanish intervention.

Bullfighting Museum

Inaugurated on August 15, 1918 Museum, which offers visitors an excellent example of art bullfighting art; It includes a collection of bullring models in the country, costumes, crutches, capes, swords, flags and beautiful murals on the celebration of the Fiesta Brava.

Living Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions

Museum housed in the old Official Governor's House, built in 1950. It was not until 1986 that it became one of the most attractive museums in the city with more than 3,000 pieces of tlaxcaltecas artisans, pieces of construction of indigenous houses, utensils, clothing, household altars, family craft workshops and a presentation on making pulque are displayed. It aims to spread the evolutionary process of craft production Tlaxcala.

Government palace

An impressive colonial work originally built in 1545 where the City Hall, the granary and the Royal Houses is located.

The beauty of its façade is Plateresque style at the doorway with floral and vegetable designs carved in stone, and the balcony decorated in the Baroque style mortar. Inside you will find murals by Desiderio Hernández Xochitiotzin telling the history of Tlaxcala.

Sanctuary of the Fireflies

Come be part of this natural light show during June, July and August in the Forest of Fireflies where thousands of fireflies gather in more than 200 hectares of coniferous forest to reproduce. As far as natural spectacles, few are more striking than this, so let yourself go and make the most of the experience.

Xicohténcatl Theatre

It is known that this theater worked since 1873, although its facade was remodeled in different years of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, providing the current that is made of dark stone in neoclassical style. Its interior is also decorated in the same style and its ceiling highlighted in the figures of the nine muses, painted in the style of art nouveau.

Cacaxtla Archaeological Zone / Xochitécatl

It is estimated that the Olmec-Xicallanca village was installed in the area between 100-1100 AD. The place is known for the excellent conservation of its wall paintings, where highlighted colors like red, blue, yellow, black and white, and represent characteristics of the Mayan culture. Its great civilization and importance of the area as a strategic point to control the passage of the trade route between Teotihuacan and the lowlands of the Gulf through which it came to Tabasco and Campeche is show by its grandeur size and splendor.