Saint Mary (María de Jesús), Tarécuato, Michoacán, 16th Century
Nestled in the remote mountain village of Tarécuato, Michoacán, this Franciscan monastery was built in the 1540\'s. The church was constructed after 1548 by Fray Jacobo Daciano, a Danish aristocrat who took vows of poverty and lived out his life in rural Mexico. The facade of the church is very simple with a knotted Franciscan cord the only adornment around the alfiz of the portal. A heavy square bell tower occupies the northwest corner and a colonnaded walkway on the south leads to the monastery. A stone cross rises above the atrium supported by a pedestal sculpted on all sides with complex foliate motifs. The instruments of Christ\'s Passion are carved in relief on the side of the cross facing the church.