Even though it is not the main cathedral in the picturesque city of Oaxaca, the Church of Santo Domingo is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. Built in a Baroque ecclesiastical style, the church and monastery’s construction began in 1570 and it was finished almost two hundred years later. Officially, the church is called Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán and it is now a World Heritage Site.
For almost forty years, between 1866 and 1902, during the Mexican revolution, the church was used for military purposes and since 1972, it has been a museum that today has a collection of artifacts from the pre-Columban period including many found in the nearby archaeological site of Monte Albán.
One of the sides of the church serves as a sort of outdoor auditorium where many artistic performances are held free of charge to entertain tourists as well as locals. The street next to the church is for pedestrians only, making it a perfect site to stroll around and admire the church’s details while entering the myriad of art galleries located parallel to it.
The complex includes the church, a sanctuary, courtyards, several cloisters, the monastery and a botanical garden.