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Monday, August 17, 2015

Iglesia del Presioso Sangre de Cristo, Teotitlan del Valle

Yes, it is true, I do like churches.  These enormous, grandiose, over painted and overblown buildings don't do much for me as places of worship, but I love them as architecture.

This village is considered to be one of the first that was founded by the Zapotecs around 1465, and the church is in the center of town.  . It was originally named Xaquija, which means “celestial constellation”. According to research done by Manuel Martínez Gracida, there was a large stone split in half with the name of the Stone of the Sun. It was the first idol of the Zapotecs here. It was believed that a god came from the heavens in the form of a bird, accompanied by a constellation of stars to found the temple hereTeotitlán del Valle was refounded as a Spanish village in 1527. The church of the town and municipality and was begun in 1581.   The facade of the church is made of quarried stone called cantera with decorative stonework in the main entrance and choir window. This church was built on the site of a local Zapotec temple, which was destroyed when the Spanish arrived, replacing it with this church. In the foundations of the church, some of the construction of the original temple can be seen. On the side of the church is a small archeological area.

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