On to Mitla

Concluding our market excursion, we headed toward Mitla. Humans settled in Mitla sometime between AD 0 and 200.  The Zapotecs called this area, “Place of the Dead”.  Mitla was the religious capital of the Zapotec civilization until the 16th century.  The modern town of San Pablo Villa de Mitla is built right on top of the ancient settlement.  Some parts of the structures. can be seen in the town, existing right next to residences and shops.

We arrived in good time under a cloudy sky.  Our guide bought out tickets and meanwhile we took pictures of the wall of blooming cacti.

This wall of cacti was probably grown to discourage people from climbing up and dislodging the stones.
I think this was the back of the church – Templo de San Pablo Villa de Mitla which was constructed in the 17th century. We see it from the front on our way out.
The artisan market was quite crowded by the time we finished our tour of the ruins. Shawn stopped and bought tejate (drink of the gods). It’s made with fermented cacoa beans, toasted corn flour, seeds of the mamey fruit, and cacoa flowers.
Touring the Columns

There are five architectural compounds, the main center is called the Columns Group and that is where we went.  There we saw open patios surrounded by structures adorned with Zapotec glyphs. Other structures can actually be seen scattered around the town alongside modern town structures.

There was quite a variety of cacti in front of this structure. You can see quite clearly the Zapotec designs on the building. The patterns and designs can often be seen in many Zapotec arts.

If you look closely you can see the back of a residential building. It is on the street behind the structures. Good examples of the small stones used in the building’s design.

This is the Templo de San Pablo Villa de Mitla.  During its construction which began in 1590, stone blocks and materials from the destruction of the Mitla site by the Catholic Archbishop were used in building the church.
This is the front of the church.

Our guides were very knowledgeable about the ruins and it was an interesting tour. It was odd to see how integrated the ruins were within the town.  There are still reconstruction projects ongoing and plans to rebuild parts of the walls as well as continued maintenance of platforms.  We walked back through the artisan and food vendors and then to where the car was parked. They dropped us off at our hotel and reminded us that we would be leaving early at 7:30 am to see Hierve El Agua which was 70 km from Oaxaca City.

That evening we thought we would try a vegetarian restaurant which, of course, was on the 10 best restaurant list.  We went by taxi because it looked like it was about to rain.  In fact just as we arrived and sat down in the middle of the restaurant where there was no roof, it started to pour down.  We got up and moved to the covered side.

We both ordered a drink called Tepache made with fermented pineapple with tamarind and passion fruit. It was the best part of the meal.  I wish they knew how to make these in the states. I am going to try to find the recipe. It not only tastes good but is good for you!

I had a large tortilla (tlayuda) filled with mushrooms and veggies.  I am not sure what Shawn ordered but it was presented nicely.  I guess we were so hungry it didn’t matter what it was. We each had our own sorbet.

My king-size taco ( tlayuda) was all right.  A bit hard to manage and cut.
Coconut and pineapple sorbet
Your guess is as good as mine! Neither Shawn or I could remember what this was.
Mango sorbet – it was very good!

It rained the whole time we were eating, but it magically stopped as we walked back to the hotel.  It was a very looong walk and we were both glad to call it a night.

Next Post – Hierve el Agua – natural mineral springs and cascade formations that resemble a waterfall


3 thoughts

  1. The temple designs looked very much like Egyptian patterns. Did Shawn like the ‘drink of the gods’ he had in the market place? Looks like you had quite a few desserts!


  2. Some of the designs on the building made me think of Greek designs. It is so nice of you to take these trips and share the experience with people like me who can’t go anyw9*+———————————— (that was the cat walking on the keyboard!) because we have neurotic cats! Now on to the most recent post.


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