Here we consider the smaller, more modest and remote but equally historic hillside monastery of San Miguel Achiutla.
In our first post we look at the monastery buildings and their spectacular siting.
Place of Tumbling EarthPrecariously perched on a terraced hilltop, the former Dominican monastery of San Miguel Achiutla surveys a panorama of majestic mountain scenery.
Long before the Spaniards arrived, this imposing site enjoyed an ancient sanctity, for here once stood an important temple dedicated to the Mixtec oracular deity Tizono, known locally as El Corazón del Pueblo.
The massive but regular stonework of the monastery matches its exposed setting. Rugged buttresses and a monumental apse bond the church and convento to the hillside.
|Achiutla, north side of monastery|
The arched convento entry projects beyond the church doorway.
|Achiutla, west doorway|
In the same way, steps rise to the west doorway, recessed like the north porch by broad buttresses.
Both facades are simply framed. A single tier of half columns frames the north entry while two tiers of plain, paired pilasters enclosing narrow, empty niches flank the arched west doorway and choir window on the west.
|Achiutla, north facade|