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Santa Prisca, Taxco, Guerrero, 18thCentury

Santa Prisca, Taxco, Guerrero, 18<sup>th</sup>Century

This remarkable parish church rises high above the streets of Taxco, one of the most picturesque of Mexico's silver cities. José de la Borda, a silver miner, struck it rich in the late 1740s. In 1751 he contracted Cayetano de Sigüenza to build the church of Santa Prisca in order to repay God for his good fortune. With Borda's generous patronage, it was completed in just seven years.

Santa Prisca's magnificent Churrigueresque facade alternates between austere simplicity and elaborate ornamentation. The plainness of the tower bases frames the intricacy of the central panel. The dense carving of the facade and the two towers forms a great letter Y that reaches for the sky.

The interior of the church continues the pattern of contrast between ornate and plain. The walls of the church, lined with twelve gilded baroque retablos, rise amidst a frenzy of swirls, scrolls, statues and rusticated pilasters up to the cornice line where they meet a simple groin vault. Isidro Vicente de Balbás created several of the shimmering retablos, and Miguel Cabrera, one of Mexico's most famous colonial artists, graced the church with several paintings.