AAA Editor Notes
Temple and Ex-Convent of Santiago Apostol is off Calle Vicente Guerrero in the town of Cuilapan, about 16 km (10 mi.) s.w. of Oaxaca via Mex. 131. Better known as Cuilapan de Guerrero, this former Dominican monastery is distinguished by a roofless cloister at the entrance, accentuated by 50-foot-tall columns topped with parapets. The chapel was built in an open-air style to encourage the Indians, who held their religious services outdoors, to attend Mass.
Beyond the cloister is an immense complex of rooms, tunnels and hidden stairways, with enormous portals framed by ornate stonework high atop walls. A museum section displays large, intricately carved stone stela. Next to the monastery are the remnants of a water-driven stone gristmill once used to process wheat. Vicente Guerrero, one of Mexico's first presidents, was executed at this site on Feb. 14, 1831; his remains lie in the base of the Independence Monument in Mexico City.