San Francisco Acatepec--page 1 (of four pages)

begun in 1650s and completed by 1750

Elaborate ornamented facade

One of three fabulous churches near San Andrés Cholula, (the others are Santa Maria Tonantzintla and San Bernardino Tlaxcalancingo), San Francisco Acatepec has a spectacular facade, described by Mexican art historian Don Manuel Toussaint as a "porcelain temple." The entire front is totally covered with locally produced talavera (ceramic) tiles in rich reds, blues, and yellows. (Talavera is the famous trademark pottery of the capital city of Puebla, less than an hour away.) Usually classified as Baroque architecture or Spanish Baroque Churrigueresque, the church boast incredible decorative details, some with a distinctly Moorish origin--especially in the central portal.

Encrusted spiral columns and flame finials on south bell tower


Top register above the bell tower with folk caryatids (see below, center); plain north tower


Tiles laid in herringbone patterns and tiles decorated with floral motifs;
yesería (plasterwork) in loops and flowers

The front facade features four alcoves, in two registers, each with a larger than life-size saint, in the top register flanked by candlestick columns, and in the bottom by tile-covered round columns.

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© 2013 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.