Experience Oaxaca’s Rich History by Exploring its Convents

A convent refers either to a community of priests, or nuns, or a building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion.

The Dominicans were the first religious order to settle in Oaxaca when the Spanish forces arrived in the 1500’s. Frays Gonzalo Lucero and Bernardino de Minaya, in particular, were the first Dominicans to arrive, establishing the order and helping the evangelical mission.

To accomplish this very heavy responsibility, they put up many Dominican convents and churches that still stand today. During the 16th century, the Dominicans built more than fifty convents and churches, the majority of which still welcome many Christians and non-Christians alike.

Spanish nuns also arrived in Mexico in the 16th century, alongside the Spanish conquistadors. Over the next 300 years, they’d play a big role in shaping the city’s rich Mexican history.

Oaxaca city, specifically, is home to many convents, and today there are many Oaxaca tours which operate to take travelers to the many spread throughout. The architecture of the churches, cathedrals, convents and monasteries in Oaxaca is a collision between pre-Hispanic influences and the ideas of the Spanish and the Dominicans. The earliest churches in Oaxaca date from the sixteenth century and there are some quite stark contrasts in style, some designs are very elaborate others very subdued and some somber. Two of the most visited are Oaxaca Cathedral and Santo Domingo Church, both of which are located in the center of Oaxaca City.

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