Fodor's Expert Review Iglesia de Santa María Tonantzintla
The exterior of this 16th-century church might be simple, but inside waits an explosion of color and swirling shapes. To facilitate the conversion of the native population, Franciscan monks incorporated elements recalling the local cult of the goddess Tonantzin in the ornamentation of the chapel. The result is a jewel of the style known as churrigueresque. The polychrome wood-and-stucco carvings—inset columns, altarpieces, and the main archway—were completed in the late 17th century. The carvings, set off by ornate gold-leaf figures of plant forms, angels, and saints, were made by local craftspeople. Flash photography is not allowed.