Exploring Colonial Mexico©
This grand former priory, the mother house for the Dominican order in Oaxaca and the largest Dominican establishment in Mexico, has long been famous for its ornate church, one of the crown jewels of Mexican colonial architecture and decoration.
The priory is also noted for its magnificent convento with multiple cloisters and surrounding conventual galleries, which house superb collections of colonial and pre-Columbian art and artifacts.
Renovation of the former convento and its galleries, better known as El Centro Cultural Santo Domingo, a massive project that has been going forward since 1994 under the auspices of INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia) and several other national and state agencies, is now complete.
A major task for the multi-disciplinary team of architects, archeologists and conservators was the successful restoration of 6000 sq. meters of vaulting throughout the priory.
The museum and its refurbished galleries have now reopened. Future installations in the convento precincts will include the Burgoa Library, with extensive Dominican archives, a monastic ethno-botanical garden, and a conference center.
Text & illustrations ©1999 Richard D. Perry