A Guide to Oaxaca Historic Sightseeing

Oaxaca is not only known for its delicious cuisine and lively nightlife but for its historical sites as well.

Santo Domingo Church

One of the greatest historical places in Oaxaca, Mexico, is the Santo Domingo Church, located in the Santo Domingo neighborhood of Oaxaca. It is considered one of the finest examples of Dominican architecture in Mexico.

Construction began on the complex where the church was located in 1575, and the work on the main church and convent wasn’t completed until 1619. It was the home to many Dominican friars and novices and served as a Dominican educational center. Throughout the years, the Santo Domingo Church was occupied by different militaries, from the War of Independence to the Mexican Revolution, who caused damage to the original interior decoration.

In the 1930s, the convents and church were returned to the Dominicans, but the military didn’t fully vacate until 1994. Once the military was gone, a restoration project took place in the church, returning it to its former glory. Within this site is a large chunk of Oaxaca history.

Benito Juárez Market

The Benito Juárez Market is listed as one of the top things to do in Oaxaca and is another historical site in Oaxaca. It’s only a block away from the zócalo, or square, of Oaxaca, and the market stretches a full city block. There are many stalls and options to peruse, and the market offers everything from crickets to grilled meats, empanadas, and dried chiles.

The Benito Juárez Market is always bustling with business, and you’ll find a mix of everything. For convenience, the market is divided into sections; cheese makers in one area, butchers in another, etc. It is the oldest market in Oaxaca, as it was opened in 1893, and it is in close proximity to some of the best hotels in Oaxaca city, so it’s close by for travelers.

Plaza de la Constitución

Designed by Juan Pelaez de Berrio in the tradition of the zócalos, or squares, in colonial Spain, Plaza de la Constitution is the Central Square in the city of Oaxaca and has been for over 500 years. For sightseers in Oaxaca, the plaza de la Constitution is a must-see historical site because it’s connected to the rest of the city in five different ways. Because of its connection and close proximity to the different neighborhoods of Oaxaca, the zócal is a popular meeting space for locals and is near some of the best hotels in Oaxaca.

The construction of the plaza was used as a point of reference for the rest of the city, and it is in the dead center of the city. The heart of Oaxaca, including the public square, was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1987 in an effort to preserve its historic architecture.

Convento de Cuilapam

Located in the small town of Cuilapam de Guerro, almost 30 minutes from the city of Oaxaca, it is the home of a roofless old convent. The Dominican temple and ex-convent of Cuilapam de Guerro sit on a small hill and offers a breathtaking view.

The ex-convent is from the 16th century and is of an impressive size, but it was never finished. The open chapel was designed with the purpose of bringing together different indigenous peoples to convert to Catholicism. The construction of the convent, which was the convents of Santiago Apóstol, began in the 1530s in the gothic style and was intended to house the Dominican order. This order was meant to convert the natives of Oaxaca.

It is a lovely place that is rich with history and emblematic of colonial architecture in Oaxaca. It is one of the most beautiful historical sites in Oaxaca, Mexico, particularly if you have an interest in architecture, and it is not too far from some unique lodging in Mexico.

Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

Consecrated by Friar Isidro Siraña y Cuenca in 1690, the church’s construction began in 1682. It is a Roman Catholic Basilica with the Baroque architecture style. The church was intentionally built with low towers and spires to be earthquake resistant and is part of the Historic Center of Oaxaca City.

To this day, it remains one of the finest sculpted buildings in Oaxaca. Its name means Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude, in reference to the patron saint of Oaxaca. Inside, the interior is gold changed, with extra sparkles above the altar. Above the entrance of the church is a relief of the Virgin Mary, and within the church are eight sculpted angels, each of which holds up a chandelier. The interior of this church is absolutely stunning, with gold trim, beautiful furnishings, and colorful stained glass.

While in Oaxaca, the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is a must-see, and it’s close by to affordable Oaxaca, Mexico lodging for travelers.

These historical sites in Oaxaca hold both historic and cultural meaning to the city and state, and travelers flock to the areas to take in the sites. They’re conveniently close to great Oaxaca lodging and some of the best places to stay in Oaxaca.