Templo & Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

Top choice in San Cristóbal de las Casas

Located just north of the center of town, the imposing 16th-century Templo de Santo Domingo is San Cristóbal’s most beautiful church, especially when its facade catches the late-afternoon sun. This baroque frontage, with outstanding filigree stucco work, was added in the 17th century and includes the double-headed Hapsburg eagle, then the symbol of the Spanish monarchy.

The interior is lavishly gilded, especially the ornate pulpit. At the time of research, the church was being repaired from earthquake damage; you can enter from the side but the golden interior is covered in plastic sheeting. On the church's western side, the attached former monastery contains a regional museum and the excellent Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya. Around Santo Domingo and the neighboring Templo de la Caridad, built in 1712, Chamulan women and bohemian types from around Mexico conduct a colorful daily crafts market. The weavers’ showroom of Sna Jolobil is now in a separate light-filled building on the northwest section of the grounds.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby San Cristóbal de las Casas attractions

1. Museo de los Altos de Chiapas

0.02 MILES

One of two world-class museums inside the Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo (on the western side of the Templo de Santo Domingo), this exhibits several…

2. Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya

0.03 MILES

Upstairs inside the Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo, this excellent museum showcases over 500 examples of handwoven textiles from throughout Mexico and…

3. Templo de la Caridad

0.05 MILES

Built in 1712, the Templo (or Iglesia) de la Caridad has an imposing facade consisting of Tuscan columns and a central bell tower, decorated in the…

4. Templo de Mexicano

0.17 MILES

Attractive red-and-white church in one of the town's oldest neighbourhoods. Founded in 1594 as a small hermitage it was rebuilt as a larger church after…

5. Mercado Municipal

0.18 MILES

For a closer look at local life – and an assault on the senses – visit San Cristóbal’s busy municipal market, eight blocks north of the main plaza between…

6. Café Museo Café

0.24 MILES

This combined cafe and coffee museum is a venture of Coopcafé, a grouping of more than 17,000 small-scale, mainly indigenous, Chiapas coffee growers. The…

7. Museo del Cacao

0.25 MILES

This chocolate museum runs along an open upstairs balcony of a cafe. Learn about the history of chocolate and how it was used by the Maya. Also on display…

8. Catedral

0.28 MILES

On the north side of the plaza, the candy-colored cathedral was begun in 1528 but wasn't completed until 1815 because of several natural disasters. Sure…