Iglesia de Santa Domingo is truly an impressive sight. It is located a few blocks north of the zocalo. You can’t miss the impressive twin towers. This church was built between 1570 and the early part of the 17th century. It was the church for the city’s Dominican monastery.
Take a look at the incredibly thick walls. It has survived many an earthquake and in the early 19th century was even used as a stable. The outside open area is a relaxing place to sit and watch people go by or absorb some sun. Depending on the season there are lots of marigolds in bloom in and around the large open area.
If you are impressed by the outside of this church you will be even more impressed by the inside. As you walk in the main doors (usually closed between 1 and 4pm every day) you will be struck with the sight of lots of gold. There is gold leaf on the pillars and all over the ceiling. In one of the side wings you will see the Rosary Chapel, and there is a golden statue of the virgin.
Basilica de La Soledad was built in 1682 and although not quite as impressive as the Santa Domingo it still is impressive and it contains a lot of history. Inside its hallowed walls is an image of Oaxaca’s patron saint, the Virgen de la Soledad. The image is covered with a 2kg crown of solid gold, 600 diamonds and a very large pearl.
There is a small building next to the church that contains a religious museum. There are many other smaller less impressive churches in Oaxaca. The best way to find these is to walk and explore on your own. That is not difficult; there are several churches within a few minutes walk and a few blocks of the zocalo.