Cristero War (1926-1929), fought by the Revolutionary government against radical Catholics activists, the school was closed. Eventually, the Oaxaca State Government took over the building, and in 1985 it became the Central Library. The structure is graceful, with many arcades and side passages.
Los Arquitos (the little arches) formed part of the support structure for a long aqueduct which brought water down from the San Felipe mountains to the north of Oaxaca, through the village of San Felipe de Agua, finally ending near the ex-convento Santo Domingo. The locals have adapted the arches to their own purposes, building entrances to their homes and shops underneath. Some of the arches form the entrances of callejones (alleyways) leading through the old neighborhood behind the aqueduct. The aqueduct formed a part of Oaxaca's water system until 1934.
In 1576, the Augustinian Order arrived in Oaxaca and in 1586 they began work on this edifice. The original Templo was built of adobe with a beam and tile roof. Do to the frequency of earthquakes in the area, the Templo has never had a cupola (dome). This original structure was completed in 1596. Toward the end of the next century, the Augustinians began work on the present church, which was consecrated in 1722. During the Reforms of Benito Juarez in the 1860s, the Augustinians were ousted, and the church was taken over by the Institute of Art and Sciences. It was allowed to deteriorate, however, and in 1893 Bishop Eulogio Gillow acquired the ex-convento and turned it into a Childrens' Home.
Teatro Macedonio Alcala was named after a famous Oaxacan composer.
San Felipe Neri was a saint noted for his medical charity, so it should be no surprise that the Angel Vasconcelos Hospital occupies the old convent facilities. In 1843, Benito Juarez married Margarita Maza in this church. Ironically, the Reform Laws he later instituted as President included nationalizing this church.
The conversation. I was rapidly snapping pictures in the area and didn't realize I had taken this little jewel until I downloaded it onto my computer. In my imagination, the conversation occurring above was going something like this:
Mother- "Maria, I don't like that young man you've been with lately. Now in my day..."
Maria- "Oh, Mom!!!"
I hope you have enjoyed the scenes we encountered while wandering the streets of Oaxaca as much as we did. Around every corner we were always encountering some new treasure of architecture, or wonderful human vignette. If you would like to leave a comment, you can do so in the Comments section below, or email me directly. If you leave a question in the Comments section, PLEASE leave your email address so that I may respond.
Hasta luego, Jim