Monday, June 14, 2021

Chiapas. Santo Tomás Oxchuc

Continuing our Chiapas odyssey we look at the old church of Santo Tomás in the conflicted indigenous Maya speaking village of Oxchuc, east of San Cristóbal, the old colonial capital, on the road to Palenque.
This massive stone church, much repaired in recent times presents a broad front articulated by plain half columns and cornices with a large central doorway and lateral niches, currently empty of sculptures.
Inside, the nave fronts double arches at the east end, of which the main sanctuary arch frames what may have been the original open chapel.
This early feature is confirmed by a pair of posa chapels—among the few to survive in place in Chiapas—one in the atrium, one flush with the sanctuary arch beside the church, still bearing the Dominican cross.
A new beamed roof replaced the deteriorated original, and a rather austere new main altarpiece fashioned in traditional Chiapas style with spiral columns sits in the apse, below a coffered artesonado style ceiling.

text © 2021 Richard D. Perry
images by the author and from online sources.
For more on colonial Chiapas, consult our guidebook, available from Amazon

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