Church of San Bernardino Tlaxcalancingo--page 1 (of three pages)

late 18th century (sunburst plaque at base of tower records 1782 as the date for the tiling of the facade)

One of three fabulous churches near San Andrés Cholula, (the others are San Francisco Acatepec and Santa Maria Tonantzintla), this church has a facade covered with plain ladrillo (brick) and talavera tile in blue, white, yellow, and green.

Dome at rear, with glazed tiles on the roof

The lantern here is classical like much of the church facade. While many of the churches in the Puebla area are Baroque, the architecture here is more restrained. See above the engaged pilasters with simple capitals and bases. However, the three-tier central bay with rectilinear emphasis seems a bit unbalanced, with the top element very small and constricted by the topmost window. But the top gable has an elegant curve framed by a border of decorative talavera and stucco.
The main central panel of this Franciscan church depicts the second founder of the order, the Franciscan preacher Bernardino de Siena. He is credited with the invention of the symbol--IHS, the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek, often seen on a blazing sun. The with three mitres at his feet represent the three bishoprics he had rejected in his career in order to continue his monastic and evangelizing activities.


The stately Baroque tower

Solomonic columns emphasize the corners but in general the tower is restrained and classical with beautiful fluted pilasters framing the openings.

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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.