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Templo y Convento de Nuestra Señora de las Nieves — Oaxaca City, Oaxaca

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Colonial Church     (E)
The Jesuits built their first church on this site in 1585. It withstood the numerous earthquakes of the 17th century until the great earthquake of 1696 finally destroyed it. The order immediately turned to rebuilding, quickly erecting a new church. Shortly after its completion, though, another powerful earthquake struck in 1721, heavily damaging the church.

The site was left unused for the next fifty years, until the Catholic Bishops took it over from the Jesuits after they were expelled from the country in 1767. Work on the present church began in 1770 and was completed a short two years later, the Bishops dedicating it to Our Lady of the Snows, the patron saint of Rome.

The church’s plain stone exterior, which of late was really starting to show its age, underwent a restoration in late 2011. Waiting inside, though, is the real treat — five diverse retablos, the main altarpiece neoclassical, the other four a mix of baroque and Churrigueresque, tucked away in side chapels and the transepts.

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