Originally the capital of an independent ethnic group (named Olmeca-Xicalancas), who created an alliance with Hernan Cortes, Tlaxcala today is a charming colonial town, rich with culture. It is the site of one of the earliest monasteries built in Mexico - the Ex-Franciscan Convent de la Asuncion. The interior walls of the Government Palace boast an intricate, colorful mural documenting the history of the Tlaxcalan people, not to be missed.
Nearby are the pre-Hispanic ruins of Xochitecatl and murals of Cacaxtla. The brightly colored frescoes were discovered in 1975 - depicting a battle scene between warring jaguar and eagle warriors. The artwork shows a clear Mayan influence, still being analyzed by archaeologists today.
Although not a commercial tourist stop, Tlaxcala offers an enriching glimpse of both pre-Hispanic and colonial sites well worth a day trip.
All day tour