Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Oaxaca
The splendid Iglesia de Santo Domingo, a Dominican church founded in 1575, is situated five blocks north of the main square. The church and the adjoining convent, built with 2m (6.5ft)-thick walls to make it almost completely earthquake-proof, cover an area of 150 m (492 ft) 3 150 m (492 ft). There are numerous niches filled with statues in the impressive Baroque façade.The walls and ceiling of the church interior, which dates partly from the 18th c., enjoy a wealth of gilded ornamentation and bright sculptures in high relief, which stand out brilliantly against the white background.The overall impression is more of a palace than a church. The rustic style of the coloured statues lend the nave, choir arch and chapels a distinctive Mexican note. On the ceiling above the entrance can be seen a vine, from whose golden branches and leaves grow 34 portraits. These depict the family tree of St Domingo de Guzmán, the founder of the Dominican order who died in 1221 and who was related to the royal familes of Spain and Portugal.Of the eleven different chapels the largest and most beautiful is the Capilla de la Virgen del Rosario (Rosary Chapel). It has its own choir, a sacristy and even a number of towers.The lavishly-decorated altar with a figure of the Virgin Mary is considered a jewel of Mexican Rococo.The majority of the church's original altars and decorations were destroyed in the 1960s when it was temporarily transformed into a stable. Later restoration work was based on the originals.
Address: Macedonio Alcalá, Mexico
Opening hours: 7am-2pm, 4pm-11pm
Entrance fee: FREE
Map of Oaxaca Attractions