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Church of El Carmen, San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, 18th Century

Church of El Carmen, San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, 18th Century

San Luis Potosí was founded near one of the richest silver and gold mines in Mexico. In colonial times, the city's wealth was expressed in the magnificence of its churches. El Templo del Carmen, a prime example, dates from 1749 to 1764. The church facade is a Churrigueresque masterpiece of intricate carving with elaborate solomonic columns in the lower tier and estípites above. An abundance of foliation and strapwork contribute to the lush extravagance of the facade. The interior walls of the church are lined with gilded retablos, and a brilliant white folk retablo done in argamasa (a type of cement) in the left transept opens on to an equally brilliant camarín (a dressing room for the virgin).