- Iglesia de Santo Domingo
- Jardín Etnobotánico
- Plaza Alcalá
- Plazuela Labastida
- Plazuela de Carmen Alto
One of the most highly coveted churches in Mexico, the Iglesia de Santo Domingo is a must-see for any Oaxaca tourist. Named after Santo Domingo de Guzman, the Spanish monk responsible for founding the Dominican order, the church was built as part of an impressive Dominican monastery between 1570 and 1608. The building is spectacular both inside and out, a glorious tribute to the Mexican baroque whose hefty earthquake proof walls make sure this sturdy church stays intact. Damage caused during the revolution was carefully restored in the mid-twentieth century and what stands today is a beautifully maintained piece of Oaxaca architecture. The baroque exterior is intricately decorated with beautiful carvings and capped with two blue domes whilst inside gold leaf abounds in a lavish yet tasteful example of religious grandeur. The altar makes a striking centrepiece and the painting of Santo Domingo's family tree is exquisitely finished. Every detail of the church's interior has been carefully thought out, so much so that it has been declared a historic monument. Backing on to the church you can also explore the beautiful old monastery which now functions as the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, see Santo Domingo Culture or our Oaxaca Museums page for more information.
Directly behind the Santo Domingo church you will find the exotic Jardín Etnobotánico. You need to book in advance but a trip is well worth the effort if you're interested in Mexico's fauna. Up to 1000 species of Multi-coloured orchids and other plants are showcased in the garden, plus lots of weird and wonderful insects. Tours are really informative and all in all it makse a wonderful day out for all ages.
One of the other delights of Oaxaca's Santo Domingo is just wondering through the pretty streets and absorbing a bit of that laid back Oaxacan vibe so apparent throughout the city centre. Plazuela Labastida sometimes displays artwork by local artists. Also try to incorporate the Plaza Alcalá and Plazuela de Carmen Alto into your wanderings and enjoy secluded shady spots, a mixture of market stalls and cool cafés as you explore Oaxaca's Santo Domingo.