Church of Santo Domingo (Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán) is 6 blks. n. of the Zócalo at calles Gurrión, Macedonio Alcalá, Berriozábal and Reforma. Founded by the Dominicans in the mid-16th century, it took about a century to complete. Even in a city (and country) of impressive churches, Santo Domingo has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most beautifully ornate. Every square inch of the interior walls and ceilings is covered with extravagant gold leaf, polychrome reliefs and plaster statues. Try to visit in the afternoon, when sunlight pouring through the stained-glass window casts everything in a golden glow.
One particularly noteworthy decoration, on the ceiling under the raised choir loft near the entrance, depicts crowned heads appearing on the branches of the family tree of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, founder of the Dominican order. The adjoining monastery houses the Santo Domingo Cultural Center.