The original 16th century open chapel of Santa Maria, with its added front, is framed by the nave of a later church on one side and the little Dolores chapel on the other.
This harmoniously geometrical facade displays enhanced features typical of the region: the large, rounded entry, framed by a double archway carved with entwined, foliated reliefs, is surmounted by a large, rectangular alfiz, also carved, above which are placed heraldic escutcheons of Augustinian insignia.
Atop the classic square front we see a typical regional mix of belfries, espadana and diminutive tower.
The only cross in evidence at Zacualtipan is that mounted atop the tower, fashioned in the regional manner with a circular Crown of Thorns at the axis and three protruding drippy Wounds on the arms and shaft.
text © 2013 Richard D. Perry. color images by the author and courtesy of Niccolò Brooker
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