One of my favorite things to do when visiting cities and towns in Mexico is to visit churches. I love the older, colonial churches with their varied styles. While in the city of Zacatecas in July 2013, I made a point of visiting as many of the churches there as I could find. There is a map of these churches here.
- Cathedral of Zacatecas
The cathedral of Zacatecas was built between 1729 and 1752, and is dedicated to Our Lady of Assumption.
The facade is Churrigueresque. Made of pink cantera stone, it resembles a giant alterpiece. It includes a representation of the Holy Trinity flanked by the twelve apostles. The interior is somewhat stark in comparison — no intricate retablos, it has more of a modernist feel.
It was under renovation when I visited, as can be seen from the scaffolding on the tower. The best time to photograph it appears to be late afternoon or early evening, when the sun hits the facade. It is quite beautiful.
- Iglesia de Santo Domingo
Built in only three years (1746-49), the church was consecrated in 1750. It faces the small plaza of Santo Domingo.
The interior is spectacular, with eight gilded retablos inside. Of all the chuches in Zacatecas, the interior of this one is a must-see.
- Ex-Templo de San Agustín
Construction began in 1617. In 1882 it was purchased by Presbyterian missionaries. They removed the front facade as it was “too Catholic” and replaced it with a blank white wall. In the 20th century the church returned to the government. It hosts art and cultural exhibitions.
The north doorway still has its plateresque carving, it represents the conversion of St Augustine.
- Templo de San Juan de Dios
Based on a sign inside, appears to have been built in 1610. Some renovation was going on during my visit. Quite lovely inside, with a nice yellow tile floor.
We spotted this church from a distance and found our way there. It doesn’t seem to show up in the tourist literature at all.
- Templo de Fatima
A somewhat different church, the Templo de Fatima exhibits a gothic architectural style that isn’t often seen in Mexico. The church isn’t terribly old.
Construction began in 1950, and the templo wasn’t officially dedicated until May, 2000.
The Templo is constructed of a beautiful rose colored stone. It also features some wonderful stained glass windows. It’s quite unique, and easy to spot on the skyline.
- Santuario de la Virgen del Patrocinio
Located on the top of the Cerro de la Bufa, this is a beautiful smaller church. It is enclosed inside a plaza with arcades around the edges. Construction was completed in 1795.
Across from the church is the Plaza Revolution, which has large statues of Pancho Villa, Felipe Angeles, and Panfilo Natera.
- Capilla de Mexicapan
I don’t know much about this one. I got the name off a tourist sign, but it had no history or other information. Somewhat near the Ex-Convento San Francisco.
- Ex-Convento San Francisco
Founded in 1657, this was the first Franciscan monastery in Zacatecas. The building began to deteriorate in the 1850s, and the chapel ceiling collapsed in the early 1900s.
Efforts were made to save the structure beginning in the 1950s. It now houses the Rafael Coronel museum. The grounds are free of charge, the mueseum costs $30 pesos.
- Templo Expiaratorio Del Sagrado Corazo de Jesus
No mention of this church in any of the tourist literature. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but we enjoyed the interior.
Asked a local for the name, then found it written on a bulletin board to get the spelling.
- Templo de Guadalupito
I noticed the towers from a distance. From the Cerro de la Bufa, I asked a local for the name. We ended up walking there.
The church wasn’t open, and it appeared to be having some work done. It appears to date from 1891. I can’t find much else.