San Cristóbal de las Casas is a colonial town with an indigenous heart and is considered a magical town for its ethnic diversity and architecture.

San Cristóbal de las Casas is a colonial town founded in 1528 by the Spanish to function as a military fort. It  received its current name in 1848 in honor of its first bishop, Bartolomé de la Casas, who was a great defender of indigenous rights. San Cristóbal de las Casas is surrounded by indigenous communities of different ethnicities where more than ten different dialects are spoken.

As of today, the town retains its colonial architecture with magnificent churches, cobbled streets, houses with red roofs and balconies with flowers. It is an indigenous city of many museums that deserve to be visited to learn about the culture of this region. Tourism is one of the pillars of its economy that attracts a large number of visitors for its history, its culture and its indigenous population.

The former convent of Santo Domingo is just one of the examples of Baroque architecture with indigenous expressions in Mexico.

The Temple and former convent of Santo Domingo was built by the Dominican friars between the years of 1547 and 1551. It is one of the most artistic baroque examples of architecture with indigenous finishes in Mexico. The facade made in an altarpiece of mortar (mixture of lime, sand and water) with ornaments in combinations of frets, Indian angels, sirens and many other beautiful details make this temple one of the most decorated in Mexican art. Nowadays it is a museum dedicated to preserve, spread and contribute the culture, history and traditions of the regions of the state of Chiapas.

Temple and former convent of Santo Domingo

Amber and Jade are two precious jewels used since pre-Hispanic times in this region.

The Amber Museum and the Jade House expose these two precious stones used since pre-Hispanic times. Chiapanecans have worked with amber since pre-Hispanic times initially for ceremonial and personal objects and later for commercial use. Also,  jade, an ornamental stone was used by the Mesoamericans which they called the stone of creation. In the Jade house, pieces carved by Zapotecs, Olmecs, Aztecs and Toltecs are exhibited.

Amber Museum in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

The Museum of Mayan Medicine shows the medical traditions of its culture.

Museum of Mayan medicine in San Cristóbal de las Casas

 

In the museum of Mayan medicine, the curative methods that this culture used to heal its people through shamans, midwives, herbalists and bonesetters are exposed. As well as the natural medicine based on medicinal plants that they themselves prepared. Currently, it is possible to acquire indigenous natural medicine in the museum with medicinal plants cultivated by the Maya of Chiapas.

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