Located 46km southeast of Oaxaca City and approximately 15 minutes by bus from Tlacolula, Mitla is another primarily Zapotec town in the Valles Centrales.  The impressive stone mosaics found here are unique to Mexico and date mostly from the last two or three centuries before the Spanish conquest.  The intricate stonework in 14 different geometric designs has important symbolic meaning and Mitla is believed to have been the most important of the ancient Zapotec religious centers.

Mitla’s cathedral, the Iglesia de San Pablo, is built amongst the ruins, even utilizing some of the crumbling walls as its exterior.  It has been suggested that many of the churches in Mexico were built by the Spanish as symbols of conquest, and in some cases constructed directly on top of ruins or utilizing materials gathered after their partial destruction.  Exploring the ruins at Mitla it was difficult not to wonder about the construction of the Iglesia de San Pablo.

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