Oaxaca’s Historic Center
Mexico’s and the world’s favorite destination.
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When the Spanish arrived in Oaxaca, they built Villa de Antequera on the site of a garrison the Aztecs had established in 1486 to control the valley and which they had called Huaxyacac. The Spanish city was founded by a decree from King Charles V, on September 14, 1526. However, it was not plotted until 1529 by Alonso García Bravo, who based the layout on Mexico City. He adopted a square grid with blocks whose sides measured 87 feet long.
Today, the historic center of Oaxaca still retains the image of a colonial city. Its incredible civil and religious architectural heritage has been preserved, and the valuable, elegant buildings erected throughout the 19th century have added to it. The Zócalo, the main square, is lined with old buildings and archways bustling with restaurants and cafés. On the northwestern corner is the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción with its exquisite green limestone front, and to one side of the cathedral is the La Alameda, a park where locals gather in the shade of its trees to relax and listen to music.
Oaxaca, Centro, Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., MéxicoSee map