As a World Heritage Site, Oaxaca is a superb tourist destination with history, culture, food, art, and crafts. For ancient ruins Oaxaca has pre-Columbian sites. Oaxaca is rich in colonial era architecture. The unique cuisine is home to mole, chocolate, and mescal. Oaxacan art boasts 3 great Mexican painters, Tamayo, Morales, and Toledo. Crafts include rug weaving, woven fabrics and embroidery, jewelry, pottery, woodcarvings, and basketry. I'll introduce Oaxaca with words, links and photos.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca
The open air chapel.
There are snake figures on the underside of the arch
Coixtlahuaca was originally
founded in the classic period by chocholteca. Nahuatl was the language used
throughout the Anahuac from the Classic period. In Nahuatl, Coixtlahuaca means in the plain of the snakes. Coixtlahuaca was an important
commercial center in the Mixteca.
The market or tinguis performing in Coixtlahuaca had a great influence
throughout the Mixteca region. In 1462, it was conquered by the Aztecs. After the Spanish Conquest, the
Dominicans arrived in the area and by 1545, the friar Francisco Marín built the
open chapel, with a central arch and four sides, vestry and room for the
choir. Although there is
unfortunately no longer the vault, the remains show us the knowledge and
mastery of the techniques that were used to carve the stone and construct this
The main attraction is the
Iglesia de San Juan Bautista Completed in 1576, it is of Renaissance style with
rose windows, sculptures, and a main entrance with dozens of recesses. It also
has a Baroque-style altarpiece (retablo). On the side of the church facing the open chapel there is a rose window flanked by engraved attributes of the Passion of Christ in the indigenous style of sculpture.
The front of the temple has
another beautifully decorated rosette and above a sculpture of the Holy Spirit
within a rectangle surrounded by busts of four Dominican Saints.
Originally the church must have had two towers of which only one remains. On the frieze delineated by cornices
appears date of 1576, which may have been the year of the conclusion or the
dedication of the temple.
The interior has a nave facing
the east covered by a vault. The
altar, rebuilt in the seventeenth century, occupies the entire apse and has
four floors with four niches, divided by pilasters of twenty compartments. Unfortunately currently disassembled
under a plastic tarp during restoration
In addition, there are two side
altars, one dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary and the other to Our Lady of
Atocha, the majority of works are of Andres de la Concha.
San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca is located northwest of Oaxaca City, 113 kilometers (70 miles), via highway 131-D bound for Mexico City. Driving time is approximately an hour and a half.
Much of the former convent has now been restored. For more pictures which can be viewed in larger format please visit my picasa web album.