Perhaps one of the characteristic images of Oaxaca is a high majestic temple, with an atrium full of exotic flowers that gives the sensation of being in the desert; this is the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman.
The construction of this architectural monument began in 1555 by the Dominicans, and wasn’t concluded until the second half of the 18th century.
Most noteworthy is the Chapel of the Rosary with its paintings and saints, and the barrel vault is decorated with 36 paintings depicting various scenes from the life of Jesus, Mary, the evangelists, and the Holy Trinity. This church was declared a historical monument in the 1930’s, and although it has undergone several renovations, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful examples of Baroque in Mexico.
But perhaps what most surprises the visitor upon entering this beautiful church is the impressive dome of the choir-loft adorned with a characteristic work of plaster on a white background, highlighted with plant forms and covered in a gold color that captures the Family Tree of Santo Domingo de Guzman, also known as the Tree of Life.
This labyrinthine tree begins with Félix de Guzmán, the Holy father, who is lying on the inside of a shell shaped niche sepulcher, and extends out with characters from the Earthly Family, until you get to the end where the Virgin of the Rosary is with child in arms.
In what was the convent, today houses the Regional Museum of Oaxaca.