Fashioned from dark basalt, the rounded west doorway may date from the late 1500s. It is framed by an elegant alfiz and carved with several medallions that incorporate the Dominican fleur-de-lis cross.
The sculpted doorway features rosettes and fronds of acanthus foliage anchored by dog reliefs—another Dominican emblem.
Eagles (pelicans?) with spread wings adorn the surrounding alfiz.
Other carvings in folkloric style at Nexquipayac include a painted relief of the patron St. Christopher in the upper facade and inside the church, a scaly fish poised above a holy water basin supported by an odd dancing figure.
Another item of early stone carving is the former atrium cross in the churchyard. A similar, plainer but related cross stands atop the gable. Both feature outsized heads of Christ in the regional manner (Acolman).
atrium cross gable cross
text © 2016 Richard D. Perry
color images courtesy of Niccolò Brooker and Felipe Falcón