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Church of Santa María Tonantzintla, 17th - 18th century, Tonantzintla, Puebla

<p>Church of Santa María Tonantzintla, 17th - 18th century, Tonantzintla, Puebla</p>

A folk version of the Rosary Chapel of Santo Domingo in the city of Puebla, the church at Tonantzintla probably started construction sometime after 1690. The elaborate stucco work of the interior, designed and executed by native craftsmen, makes this church a unique masterpiece.  The interior decoration was probably completed in the 18th century.  The name of the village, Tonanzintla, means the place of Tonantzín.  A pre-Columbian mother goddess, Tonantzín has been identified with the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. The multitude of indigenous elements incorporated into the decoration points to the fusion of indigenous and European elements in the Mexican Catholic church.