Church of Santa María Tonantzintla stands on the main plaza, bordered north and south by avenidas Miguel Hidalgo and Guadalupe Victoria. While the handsome yellow and red-tiled exterior looks fairly disciplined, the riotously ornate interior of this 17th-century church is a definitive example of the Churrigueresque architectural style. The walls and dome are completely covered with gilded plaster decorations, painted cherubs and saints garlanded in plumed headdresses.
The ornate and colorful motifs include fruits, flowers and birds as well as Christmas themes, and the faces and dress of the human figures are strongly Indian in character. The name Tonantzintla means “place of our little mother” in the Nahuatl Indian language and is derived from the Aztec goddess Tonantzin.