Friday, 15 April 2016

Oaxaca- Pronounced "Wah harka", Mont Alban

 Oaxaca!  what a delightful cultural city, so diverse from Mexico City. Our 4 days spent in Oaxaca were very busy with our tour to Mont Alban, city tour and a full day tour to Mitla. The population of Oaxaca is 500,000 and was discovered in 1539 by the spainards, when they arrived the mountains were all covered in trees, grass and dirt. The spainards did not like the mountains so settled in the small village of Oaxaca. It was not until 1932, that some exploration of the mountains took place by Al Afonso Caso and what was found under the dirt, grass and trees was the Zapotec civilisation and temples. In tomb number 7 is where loads of gold, precious stones, copper, jade and silver were found. The Zapotec has been dated back to the 7 th century. Only 5% of this civilisation has been uncovered, there are other mountains, which could hold more treasures, yet undiscovereed.
Mont Alban

Tomb No 7
Mont Alban and the surrounds
Other mountains that have yet to be explored
The explorer, Al Afonso Casa

There is a small museum attached to the ruins in Mont Alban, all the treasures found in tomb 7 are in the fabulous museum in Santa Domingo, well worth a visit.

The next day we had a walking city tour and covered a very large radius, incorporating the main church, Santa Domingo, the museum, botanical gardens and of course a chocolate shop, on the way was an opportunity to visit some great arty farty shops, so a few purchases was made as well.
Santa Domingo, the main Cathederal in Oaxaca

Some shots of the highly decorated ceilings in the Cathederal.
This alter is new, constructed in 2009, the original had wood rot, all 24 carat gold leaf. 80% of the Mexican people are poor, and their faith so strong, the cathedrals are so ornate....go figure.
 Grandulupee ( Mary) appears to be a bigger spiritual icon than Christ 
The museum is attached to this Cathederal, and I feel that you needed a good day to explore it, we only had an hour, but managed to cover quite a lot.

The entry to the museum, attached to the museum is an amazing library with very old books dating back 100's of years.

Some of the precious stones found in tomb 7, earnings, rings necklaces and carvings. Jade.

I had to take a photo of this symbol as he is the god for the day of the dead, celebrated every year on the 2nd November. We were lucky enough to partake in this event when we were in San Antonio 2 years ago, this day symbolises all that have died in the past and it is a mass celebration to celebrate their lives after death, with parades and shrines.

The botanical gardens attached to the museum

We ended the tour with a visit to the chocolate shop, that ends our tour for today.

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