Church of Santo Domingo

Iglesia de Santo Domingo

This church is what remains of what was once the famous Convento de la Orden de Santo Domingo. 

In 1861, when the Reform laws eliminated religious institutions, the walls of the Convento de Santo Domingo—the largest convent in the heart of Mexico City—disappeared. Their removal allowed a new street to be created, the city’s newest at the time: Leandro Valle. 

The remains of the Dominican order now stand on this street—the 18th-century Iglesia de Santo Domingo—made of volcanic tezontle rock and pink limestone. 

The main facade boasts a single doorway and a slender bell tower holding two bells. Inside, an enormous main altarpiece awaits. Manuel Tolsá created it in neoclassical style. The Christ on the main altar is the church’s oldest statue. Known commonly as El Cristo del Noviciado (Novitiate’s Christ), it dates from the 16th century and was made with cornstalk paste. Legend has it that it was donated by a couple of angels. 

Be sure to take a look at the choir built in the shape of a horseshoe with platforms that extend over the nave. Its carved chairs are from the 18th century. Also check out La lactación de Santo Domingo (The Lactation of Santo Domingo), work of painter Cristóbal de Villalpando, in the sacristy. 

The Señor del Rebozo (Lord of the Rebozo) is venerated in this church—interestingly, believers offer him rebozo shawls if their requests have been granted. 




Santo Domingo, Belisario Domínguez, Historic center of Mexico City, Centro, Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

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