Plaza Santo Domingo

sights / Squares & plazas

Plaza Santo Domingo information

Lonely Planet review

Smaller and less hectic than the nearby Zócalo, this plaza has long served as a base for scribes and printers. Descendants of the scribes who did the paperwork for merchants using the customs building (now the Education Ministry) across the square, they work on the west side beneath the Portales de Santo Domingo , aka Portales de Evangelistas.

To the north stands the maroon stone Iglesia de Santo Domingo , a beautiful baroque church dating from 1736. The three-tiered facade merits a close look: statues of St Francis and St Augustine stand in the niches alongside the doorway. The middle panel shows St Dominic de Guzmán receiving a staff and the Epistles from St Peter and St Paul, respectively. At the top is a bas-relief of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

East of the church, the 18th-century Palacio de la Inquisición was headquarters of the Holy Inquisition in Mexico until Spain decreed its closure in 1812. Its official shield shows up at the top of the facade.