The Santo Domingo Cathedral, designed by Dominican Friars and built by the local indigenous peoples, is one of the best known examples of colonial architecture in Mexico. It was the focus of our walk today as we explored the church and former friars residence which is now a museum. Our arrival just as the museum opened and with virtually no one inside resulted in some lovely photo ops.
The buildings are unique in many ways. Green limestone construction materials together with a fusion of indigenous and European architecture, as well as features created the help the buildings withstand the seismic activity in the area have created a structure found no where else. The main building construction was finished in 1619. The occupation of the buildings by the military, on and off until 1974, resulted in the destruction and/or degradation of parts of the structures. In 1974 the military vacated the buildings for good and serious reconstruction began. It was inaugurated in 1998 and now consists of the Oaxacan Museum of Cultures, the Francisco Burgoa library, the Nestor Sanchez periodicals library and an ethnobotanical garden.
Highlights for us in the museum was the exhibit on the gorgeous findings of Tomb 7 in Monte Alban and an exhibit on the evolution of the Xolos dogs in Mexico.
Following our morning in the Cathedral and Museum we made our way towards our destination for lunch, BouLenc on Porforio Diaz. Lunch began with an excellent margarita and continued on with absolutely the best Caesar salad we have ever eaten. Anchovies made the dressing sing and the wonderful Oaxacan chicken on top completed a gastronomic wonder! There is also a bakery attached to the restaurant with absolutely amazing apple empanadas. Good thing we are walking a lot.
Tomorrow is our final day here. We have hired our lovely guide Laura from the textile day to take us out to one or two villages that make the red pottery – barro rojo – I am so fond of. My major red clay pottery purchase here in town is on its way to Canada, and I hope to find some other small articles that will fit in my hand luggage. We fly to Mexico City tomorrow night and overnight before our final push home.