San Pedro y San Pablo Etla
After the construction of the aqueduct by Dominican monks on a hill at the East of Nativitas, now Villa de San Pedro y San Pablo Etla, the building of the temple and monastery, as well as the designing of the town, were carried out.
On the western side of the cloister there is a plaque with the following legend engraved: "Began and finished year 1636". It is considered this date as the one of the termination, since the magnitude of this construction, as well as the work of carving the quarry stone, would require at least twenty years. Father Burgoa mentions that this building was done thanks to Fathers José Calderón and Alfonso Espinoza in the year of 1620.
The complex is composed by the atrium, temple and monastery; most of the construction is made of green quarry stone. The atrium has a wall with two entrances and gardens. The principal facades of the temple and the ex-monastery are integrated in a single wall, with western orientation.
The portal of the temple is of two bodies. There is an entrance with semi-circular arch and choir window, like a vaulted niche; both are flanked by intercolumniation of smooth pilasters. The crest is a pediment with a clock in its tympanum.
The interior is of a single nave covered by a barrel vault. In the presbytery there is a golden cypress which lodges the sculpture of the Señor de las Peñas.
The monastery is located on the southern side of the temple. The first space presented is the Portal of the Pilgrims, basically a gallery consisting of semi-circular arches over Tuscan columns. The cloister is of two levels; the central patio is bordered by semi-circular arcades and the corridors are vaulted.
San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula
This town is situated at 23 km (14 mi) from the previous point by the detour to Tlaxiaco, on Highway 190, section Oaxaca - Mexico. The Dominicans settled here in 1541, beginning shortly later the construction of a fabulous religious complex, with a magnificent open chapel, one of the most relevant of the sixteenth century in the New Spain.
It has to be noted that this chapel had two choir lofts, one for singers and the other one for musicians. In its moment, the chapel was decorated with an altarpiece made by the painters Andrés de la Concha and Andrés Pereyns, some of whose works are still in the interior of the temple.
Santo Domingo Yanhuitlan
This town is located at Km 119 of the Highway 190. Its name signifies "New Town" in Náhuatl; and in the past it was called Yosocahui, which in Mixtec means "The New Plain". Here you can admire the Temple and Ex-convent of Santo Domingo, complex which in its moment was the second in importance of the Dominican order in the Oaxacan region.
Nowadays, it constitutes one of the most outstanding examples of the Novo-Hispanic architecture of the sixteenth century.
The construction was built on an enormous pre-Hispanic platform and although some modifications were made in the eighteenth century it conserves intact the original paintings and sculptures, among which the principal altarpiece of the sixteenth century, by the Sevillan painter Andrés de la Concha, stands out. You can also arrive at this beautiful place by taking the super highway and then the detour in Nochixtlán.
San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca
Following the road sign of this place on the new super highway, and at only 2 km (1.2 mi) away from the junction you will find the Temple and Ex-convent of San Juan Bautista. This beautiful Dominican complex, completed in 1576, as stated on its facade, is composed of a temple, a cloister, an open chapel and an atrium; here is one of the most characteristic examples of art and Novo-Hispanic architecture of the sixteenth century.
Its decoration, mainly that of the exterior of the temple, presents very original features, aside from magnificent sculptures, among which stand out the group formed by San Juan Bautista, flanked by San Pedro and the Apostle Santiago; also a series of niches in form of a shell, large rosettes, medallions and symbols of the Passion.