Puebla, city (1990 pop. 1,007,170), capital of Puebla state, E central Mexico. Its official name is Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza, in honor of Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, who defeated the French forces there in 1862. Located in a highland valley, it is an important agricultural, commercial, and manufacturing center, as well as a popular tourist spot. The site of Mexico's first textile-producing factory, Puebla has cotton mills, an automobile factory, onyx quarries, and pottery and food industries. The city is noted for the colored tiles that decorate its buildings and numerous churches, as well as those of nearby Cholula. The cathedral, built between 1552 and 1649, is one of the finest in Mexico; the theater, constructed in 1790, is said to be the oldest on the continent. Founded c.1535 as Puebla de los Ángeles, the city was historically a link between the coast and Mexico City. It was taken (1847) by U.S. Gen. Winfield Scott during the Mexican War. French troops captured Puebla in 1863 but were ousted by Porfirio Díaz in 1867. Puebla was the center of a large earthquake in 1973 that caused intense damage to the city and its surrounding region.
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