Santa Prisca in Taxco

Santa Prisca in Taxco
Santa Prisca in Taxco

It was the Mexican historian and researcher Francisco de la Maza y de la Cuadra, one of the most prominent scholars in the field of Mexican architecture, who defined the church of Santa Prisca in Taxco as <> With this definition we can present one of the most representative buildings of Mexican baroque architecture, a building that houses a perfect synthesis between various disciplines, combining architecture, painting and sculpture in perfect harmony.


Despite the definition of baroque style, in Latin America the baroque style developed years later than in the European continent so that if in the old continent we can frame this trend between the 16th and 17th centuries, in the other On the Atlantic side, the baroque did not gain real importance until the second half of the 18th century. On the other hand, it is convenient to point out how the architectures of what was known at the time as the New World, presented a predilection for Latin cross plans, reserving the movement for the decorative elements that cover the temples.

In the middle of the 18th century, between 1751 and 1759, the church of Santa Prisca was built in the city of Taxco de Alarcón, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. The temple was financed by a powerful mining businessman of Spanish origin José de la Borda. The state of Guerrero had been famous for its important gold mining deposits,silver, iron… The Spaniard had arrived in America only about thirty years before beginning the construction of the temple, however his fame and power had reached such high levels that they even allowed him to build a church completely to his liking while he only take care of its financing.

According to tradition, its unity of style and coherence between the parts is explained by the fact that the promoter ordered the temple to be built in just eight years, an explanation that today seems unrealistic but that could undoubtedly explain cohesion between its parts. We are in front of a church with a Latin cross floor plan, at the foot of the building rise two quadrangular towers very typical of the Churrigueresque style and which are opposed to the horizontality marked by the rest of the building. The two towers appear separated on two different levels, the lower one less prominent with star-shaped windows of Islamic cut while the upper one finds a much more profuse decoration.

Inside the temple we find no less than nine different altarpieces rmade in gold leaf that contrast with the pinkish marble of the pillars that act as supports. In the header, the main altar stands out, representing the most pure conception as well as the patron saints of Taxco, Santa Prisca and San Sebastián. Special mention also deserves the very high dome made with Talavera ceramics due to the influence of the Spanish trend.

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