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Monday, June 24, 2013

Tepotzotlan

For the life of me I can't get the accent marks to work on my computer - there should be an accent mark over the "a" in Tepotzotlan.  Anyway, yesterday we went to the town or small city of Tepotzotlan which is about 45 minutes from Mexico City.  Forty five minutes providing there is not a downpour on your way home which floods the highway and stops traffic.  Which happened to us on the way home, but that's the way it goes during rainy season in Mexico City.  I keep digressing.


Tepotzotlan is one of Mexico's "Pueblos Magicos" or Magic Towns.  Tepotzotlan was an important center during the Aztecs' reign and then it became a major educational center during the colonial period when the Jesuits established the College of San Francisco Javier.  This was an important religious, educational and cultural center from 1580-1914.  After the Jesuits were expelled from Mexico, the Catholic Church took it over, and then in 1964 the Mexican government took the convent/monastery, educational center and the church, restored them and turned all of it into a museum.  This museum named Museo del Virreinato (Museum of the Colonial Period), occupies the former monastery, educational center and church, and houses one of the largest collections of liturgical and religious art, as well as many other artifacts, from the colonial period.
These paintings line the hallways and are all religious themes.

One of the patios
I took this picture in one of the smaller chapels.

I cheated - I didn't take this picture because the church was closed.  Impressive.

It takes a minimum of 90 minutes, going at a brisk pace and not dawdling, to go through the convent, its gardens, patios and to take in all the artwork.  You could easily spend hours there.  I lost Arturo after 10 minutes as I'm a dawdler, but so is my brother-in-law Alfonso, so we went at our own pace.  Much later we found Arturo and his mom, somewhat bored, waiting for us.  Arturo made the major mistake of asking us if we saw the library (which we had somehow missed), so off Alfonso and I went for another 45 minute tour of the library and the third floor which we had previously skipped.  The third floor has the history of the nuns and their portraits.  I didn't know that a nun could get her "crown" only if she or her family could raise enough money to pay for it.  During the colonial period that cost was about $3000 so it was mostly the nuns from the wealthy families who were crowned.  The picture at the bottom shows one of the lucky ones.
The library

Part of the pharmacy

After Alfonso and I were dragged from the museum, we strolled through all the outdoor vendors' stands where I mostly bought and ate candy.  We had lunch/dinner at a buffet, and as we were getting ready to leave we witnessed a run away bull - there are ranches surrounding the town - run free in the parking lot before being wrestled to the ground by some cowboys who appeared out of nowhere on horseback.  Unfortunately a couple of people walking in the parking lot were injured.  Hopefully not badly.  Then we drove home until we had to stop driving because of the flooded highway.  All in all, not counting the bull incident, it was a good day.
This isn't the bull that escaped but it is the largest bulls I've seen.

My mother-in-law and Alfonso
Citlali and Poukie had to stay home so no pictures of them.

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