- Basílica de la Soledad
- Jardín Socrates
- Plaza de la Danza
- Templo San Felipe Neri
- Iglesia de San Juan de Dios
One of Mexico's most important religious sites can be found right here in Oaxaca, the Basílica de la Soledad can be found two blocks west of the Oaxaca Zócalo, following C/Independencia. This spectacular shrine to Oaxaca's patron saint, 'the virgin of solitude' was erected between 1682 and 1690 after a statue of the virgin was said to 'appear' in a backpack being carried by a donkey. Whether there is truth in the legend or not, it gave rise to this magnificent building with one of the most beautifully carved baroque facades in Mexico. The statue of the virgin found inside the basilica was so elaborately adorned and dripping in riches that her diamond encrusted gold crown was stolen in the late 1900's. Once you've enjoyed all the Basilica has to offer why not have an ice cream in the nearby Jardín Socrates, where pretty trees offer nice shady spots for chilling out. Alternatively, get down to the Plaza de la Danza where there are often concerts and performances to keep you entertained.
If you head a little further north up the C/Independencia it won't be long before you stumble across the Temple of San Felipe Neri. With the exception of the bell towers, which were a nineteenth century addition, the original temple was built between 1733 and 1770. The intricately ornamented baroque building was later used as army base during the Revolution. The damage caused during this period left it begging for a makeover and eventually in the early 20th century the interior was restored Art Nouveau style. There are some interesting religious murals and painting inside the temple. However, San Felipe Neri's most famous moment was undoubtedly in July 1843 when Benito Juárez married Margarita Maza said their wedding vows there.
The last but by no means least of Oaxaca's main tourist hotspots is the stunning Iglesia de San Juan de Dios. Situated on 20 de Noviembre, three blocks south from the Zócalo, this tiny church attracts one of Oaxaca's largest congregations. The modest and attractive seventeenth century building you find today actually marks the exact spot where the city's first ever church once stood when it was built a century beforehand. The location of this last attraction, just outside Oaxaca city centre is also perfect for combining with a trip to Oaxaca's markets. Follow the link for information on other points of culture outside the city centre.