/pwe"blah/, n.
1. a state in S central Mexico. 3,055,000; 13,124 sq. mi. (33,990 sq. km).
2. the capital of this state, in the N part. 516,000.

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State (pop., 2000: 5,076,686), southeast-central Mexico.

It covers an area of 13,090 sq mi (33,902 sq km), and its capital is Puebla city. It occupies part of the Anáhuac Plateau and varies in elevation from 5,000 to 8,000 ft (1,500 to 2,400 m), with fertile valleys formed by the Sierra Madre Oriental. The region has long been densely populated. Pre-Columbian peoples had a highly developed civilization in the area, and there are many archaeological sites. The Spanish made Puebla an economic and religious centre, and since the 19th century it has been an important agricultural and industrial centre.
in full Puebla de Zaragoza

City (pop., 2000: 1,271,673), capital of Puebla state, southeastern Mexico.

Founded in 1532, it lies on a plain about 7,100 ft (2,165 m) above sea level in the Sierra Madre Oriental foothills. Located between Mexico City and Veracruz, it was occupied by U.S. forces during the Mexican War. Its Spanish colonial architecture is similar to that of the city of Toledo, Spain. The centre of an important agricultural and industrial region, it is also known for its glazed ceramic tiles, glass, and pottery. In 1973 the city was shaken by a severe earthquake.

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in full  Puebla de Zaragoza  

      city, capital of Puebla estado (state), central Mexico. Founded as Puebla de los Angeles in 1532, the city lies on a broad plain 7,093 feet (2,162 metres) above sea level, about 80 miles (130 km) southeast of Mexico City. It is spread across foothills where the Sierra Madre Oriental intersects the seismically active Neo-Volcánica Range of central Mexico, between the volcanoes Matlalcueyetl (La Malinche) to the west and Popocatépetl to the east.

      Since Spanish colonial times, Puebla has been considered a military key to the control of Mexico because of its strategic position on the route between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz to the east on the Gulf of Mexico. It was occupied in 1847 by U.S. forces during the Mexican War (Mexican-American War). During the Battle of Puebla (May 5, 1862), invading French troops were repulsed there by a much smaller Mexican force under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza; thereafter the city was renamed Puebla de Zaragoza, and May 5th ( Cinco de Mayo) became a Mexican national holiday. The Serdan brothers of Puebla played a major role in initiating the Mexican Revolution in 1910.

      Puebla has been repeatedly damaged by strong earthquakes, but numerous colonial-era buildings are extant in the grid-patterned city centre, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. Many of these structures incorporate decorative glazed Talavera tiles, introduced by early residents from the area of Talavera de la Reina, near Toledo, Spain. The 16th–17th-century Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the central plaza is one of Mexico's largest and most ornate churches and features an onyx altar carved about 1799 by the Spanish-born sculptor Manuel Tolsá. Among other colonial-era structures are the Church of Santo Domingo, with its elaborate gold-leafed Chapel of the Rosary, and the Franciscan Convent of Cuauhtinchan (1528–54). Jesuits founded a college in the city in 1578, contributing to its reputation as an intellectual centre. More recently established cultural institutions include the José Luis Bello y González Art Museum (1938); the Museum of Religious Art (1940), housed in the 17th-century Convent of Santa Mónica; the Regional Museum of Puebla State (1931); the Benemérita Autonomous University of Puebla (1937); the University of the Americas (1940; name changed 1963); and the Popular Autonomous University of Puebla State (1973).

      Long the commercial centre of an important agricultural district (corn [maize], sugarcane, cotton, livestock), Puebla was also an early manufacturing city, known for its traditional onyx products, Talavera tiles, pottery, glass, and textiles. The city's economy now depends on a mixture of manufacturing and services. Its wide array of manufactures include automobiles, metal products, foods and beverages, and building materials. The city is served by rail, highway, and air routes. Poblano (“Pueblan”) culture, a blending of its European and indigenous traditions, is associated with a distinctive regional cuisine and with traditional forms of clothing, music, and dance. Pop. (2000) city, 1,271,673; urban agglom., 1,800,000.

  estado (state), east-central Mexico. It is bounded by the states of Veracruz to the north and east, Oaxaca to the south, Guerrero to the southwest, Morelos and México to the west, and Tlaxcala and Hidalgo to the northwest. Nearly half of its population is concentrated in the city of Puebla (Puebla de Zaragoza), which is the state capital and chief commercial centre.

      The relief and climate contrast dramatically between Puebla's highlands—a combination of the Mesa Central, the Sierra Madre Oriental, and the Cordillera Neo-Volcánica (Neo-Volcánica, Cordillera)—and the fertile slopes and river valleys of the east and northeast, which extend toward the lowlands of Oaxaca and Veracruz. Average elevations vary from 5,000 to 8,000 feet (1,500 to 2,400 metres). The dormant volcano Iztaccíhuatl lies on the Puebla-México border; the highest of its three peaks reaches 17,159 feet (5,230 metres). The Atoyac River traverses the state southwestward to become the Balsas River in Guerrero.

      Owing to the region's rich volcanic soils and strategic location, Náhuatl (Nahuatl language)-speaking peoples developed a complex civilization there, now marked by monumental ruins. In the early 16th century Spanish missions were established, including several on the slopes of Popocatépetl (also in Morelos state) that were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. Since the 19th century Puebla has developed as an agricultural-industrial area in the important Mexico City–Veracruz corridor.

      Agriculture and mining employ a significant share of the workforce, including large numbers of subsistence farmers speaking languages such as Náhuatl, Totonac, or Popoloc. Coffee, sugarcane, fibres, corn (maize), and cereals are principal crops, and onyx, gold, and other metals are mined. The chief manufactures are processed foods, textiles, beverages, automobiles and auto parts, and machinery. Highways and railroads traverse the state, linking the capital with Atlixco, Tehuacán, and other cities and towns.

      State government is headed by a governor, who is elected to a single term of six years. Members of the unicameral legislature, the State Congress, are elected to three-year terms. Puebla is divided into local governmental units called municipios (municipalities), each of which is headquartered in a prominent city, town, or village.

      The colonial centre of Puebla city was designated a World Heritage site in 1987. The capital is also the site of the José Luis Bello y González Art Museum (founded 1938); the Museum of Santa Mónica (1933), focusing on ecclesiastical art; the Regional Museum of Puebla State (1931); and several universities. The Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve (created 1998) is on the border with Oaxaca, and Pico de Orizaba National Park—centred on Citlaltépetl (Orizaba Peak), Mexico's highest point—straddles the border with Veracruz. Cuetzalán, in the north, holds a fair each October that is famous for its display of voladores (voladores, juego de los) (“flyers”), performers who tie their ankles to a rope wound around a tall pole, leap off, and fly through the air as the rope unwinds. Area 13,090 square miles (33,902 square km). Pop. (2000) 5,076,686; (2005) 5,383,133.

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Universalium. 2010.

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