I’ve decided to explain why I always say Puebla is a World Heritage Site as if that was something important or a plus why you should come visit. One may think I’ve run out of things to say about Puebla, so I had to brought a high-flown word to convince people to come. But that title actually means something.
I know you are already in love with Puebla, how could you not? Have you read the blogs about the buildings, the streets, the people, the food, the volcanos, and so much more in the city? But for those of you who need to have a guarantee, this appointment works like that. It declares that Puebla is a worldwide important and beautiful city to visit.
I’ll never get tired of stating that Puebla is one of the most amazing cities in the world! But is really good to know that I’m not the only one saying it. Actually, a specialized United Nations agency called UNESCO thinks so too.
The UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was created in 1945 to preserve world peace by promoting international collaboration through education, science and culture. Its World Heritage program seeks the preservation of the world’s cultural and natural heritage. To be a part of this program a city, building or natural feature must be nominated, evaluated and selected based on ten special criteria points (six cultural criteria points and four natural ones).
Why is it important to be a part of this World Heritage List? Mostly because, even though the site is property of the state on whose territory is located, the international community has the interest of preserve the site. And sometimes, under certain conditions, some sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund, as long as they are use to keep promoting education, science and culture.
Puebla has been on the Cultural World Heritage List since 1987 under two out of six criteria points. According to the UNESCO, Puebla is a city where a) the interchange of human values with architecture, monumental arts and town planning within a cultural area has been quite important; and b) it’s an outstanding example of a type of architectural ensemble that illustrates a significant stage in human history.
For 22 years Puebla has proudly displayed its appointment as Cultural Heritage of the Mankind and every building, church and square in the city is constantly improved to keep the appointment. In fact, in 1997 Puebla was chosen among all the Latin America cities inscribed in the list to house the UNESCO Meeting of Publishers an Editors for a Culture of Peace.
And as if all of this wasn’t enough, the Palafoxiana Library of Puebla was inscribed in the UNESCO’s Memory of the World List in 2005 for being the first public library in America and because it’s been conserved almost entirely. Plus, its bibliographical wealth, its bookcases and the construction itself has an incalculable value. Among the more than 41,000 books, there are 9 incunabula (a book printed in Europe before 1501). The order and distribution of the books in the library was established more than 200 years ago, and has been observed till this day.
So now you now, when you come to Puebla you’ll be happy visiting all the historic and gorgeous sites, but you can also rest assure you are in a city considered important for the improvement of the humankind.
[photos courtesy of Vica Amuchastegui]