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Secrets of Puebla tunnels

Many Mexican cities have legends of secret tunnels lying just below the streets that were used during the revolution by the royal family or even during the Inquisition. Grandparents told these stories to the children.

The discovery of the Puebla Tunnels in 2015 confirms these urban legends.

At the Cinco de Mayo Road, there is a door, a tiny entrance to Puebla City’s recently discovered secret – system of underground tunnels that connects both Forts of Loreto and Guadalupe with the city of Puebla.

These tunnels were used by Mexicans to move between the forts and the city during the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The movement of troops and supplies was of strategic importance during the battle with French forces.

These underground tunnels were believed to be folkloric and urban legends.

The entrances to 4 tunnels have been discovered during routine work in 2015. The tunnel system is believed to extend for more than 10 km. Lined with stone, tunnels reach a height of 7 meters and a width of 3,5 m.

The underground tunnels date back to 1531 and have withstood the passage of time, the weight of the ever-growing city, and the severe flooding of the 1600s. So, parts of the city and tunnels were lost and forgotten.

Discovery of Puebla tunnels

In 2015, during routine excavations, was discovered these tunnels provided colonial officials and religious authorities with a secret means of transportation between monasteries, churches, and administrative offices.

These underground tunnels, tall enough for a person to ride comfortably on horseback, begin in the Historic Center of Puebla City and lead to Fort Loreto, where the famous Cinco de Mayo battle took place in 1862.

Antique kitchen utensils, numerous guns, bullets, and gunpowder were found in the mud of the tunnels. The weapon mainly was made in the mid-19th century, around the time of the conflict at the Battle of Puebla.

The tunnels were opened to the public in 2016.

Significance of the tunnels during the battle of 1862

The Puebla Tunnels played a crucial role during the Battle of Puebla in 1862. This historical event marked an important moment in Mexican history, and these tunnels played a major role in the outcome.

In 1861, Mexico was going through a difficult and turbulent period.

The country struggled with foreign intervention, primarily from the French, who sought to gain a foothold in America. This led to the arrival of French troops in Mexico, determined to assert their dominance.

The Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862, was a critical confrontation in this broader context. Mexican troops under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza faced a superior French army.

The strategic location of the tunnels under the city of Puebla provided an invaluable advantage to the Mexican defenders.

During the battle, the tunnels served as hidden routes for Mexican troops and supplies. They allowed for covert and efficient movement, allowing Mexican troops to respond quickly and tactically to French advances.

The element of surprise and the ability to maneuver unnoticed through these underground passages gave the Mexican army a significant advantage.

The tunnels made it easier to transport essential resources such as ammunition and food to the front lines. This logistical advantage played a decisive role in the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla, which holds a special place in Mexican history and is celebrated annually as Cinco de Mayo.

The Mexican victory in this battle became a symbol of resistance and resilience against foreign interference, and the tunnels of Puebla, which were considered mere folklore, turned out to be an integral part of this heroic chapter.

The rediscovery of the Puebla tunnels in 2015 not only confirmed their existence but also shed new light on their historical significance. The tunnels remain a tangible link to the events of 1862 and the enduring spirit of Mexican independence.

This historical background highlights the tunnels’ role as a strategic asset at a critical moment in Mexican history and enhances our understanding of their significance in the broader context of the Battle of Puebla.

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