Iglesia de Santa Domingo is truly an impressive building. It is located a few blocks north of the zocalo and easily noticed due to its impressive twin towers. This church was built between 1570 and the early part of the 17th century. It was the primary church used by Oaxaca’s Dominican Monastery.
Take a look at the incredibly thick walls. The building has survived many earthquakes – in the early 19th century it was even used as a stable. A large open space directly outside the church is an ideal place for visitors to relax or people watch the parishioners coming and going. Depending on the season, lots of marigolds may be blooming around the open space.
Visitors who are impressed by the outside of this church will be even more impressed by the inside. As visitors walk in the main doors (usually closed between 1 and 4pm every day) they will immediately seek a dazzling amount of gold used for interior decor. The pillars are covered with leaf along with liberally covering the ceiling. In one of the side wings you will see The Rosary Chapel is located in one of the side wings along with a golden statue of the virgin Mary.
Basilica de La Soledad was built in 1682 and although not as impressive as Santa Domingo is still an amazing building, richly endowed with layers of history. The interior contains an image of Oaxaca’s patron saint, the Virgen de la Soledad. This image is covered with a 2kg crown of solid gold, 600 diamonds and a very large pearl.
A small building next to the church houses a religious museum.
Oaxaca is also home to numerous other smaller less impressive churches. The best way to discover these is to walk and explore on your own. That is not difficult as the terrain is flat; there are several churches within a few minutes walk and a few blocks of the zocalo.