Mexico
Exconvento de Calpan

The Exconvento de Calpan stands as a silent narrator of Mexico's profound history, an architectural relic that embodies the fusion of Spanish and indigenous cultures. Read more

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Visit Exconvento de Calpan in 2024

The Exconvento de San Andrés Calpan, more commonly known simply as the Exconvento de Calpan, is a magnificent former convent located in the town of San Andrés Calpan in the state of Puebla, Mexico. Built in the 16th century, this Franciscan establishment is a part of the "Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatépetl", a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These monasteries were key in the evangelization of the native populations after the Spanish conquest.
The complex is celebrated for its ornate architecture, blending indigenous naturalistic motifs with Christian iconography—a testament to the syncretism of post-conquest art. The walls of the convent feature unique frescoes, and the church, with a single nave layout, boasts a majestic retablo and pulpit that exemplify the craftsmanship of the era. The capilla abierta, or open chapel, characteristic of early Mexican monasteries, illustrates the adaptability of Spanish friars to the indigenous preference for outdoor religious practices.
The convent's robust, fortress-like design also speaks to the turbulent times of its inception, serving both as a religious sanctuary and a bastion against potential uprisings. Its atrium and posas corners were places of congregation and spiritual instruction for the native people.
The Exconvento de Calpan is not just a relic of the past but a living piece of history that continues to awe and inspire, a must-visit for those interested in the rich tapestry of Mexico's colonial era.

19.107749, -98.45913 Open in Google Maps

The most famous sights
What to do in Exconvento de Calpan

Convent Church

A centerpiece of the complex, the church holds an air of solemnity and timelessness, with impressive religious art and altar pieces inside.

Frescoes

Despite the wear of time, the remnants of the frescoes within the convent walls continue to fascinate, displaying a mix of Christian and indigenous elements.

Capilla Abierta

This open chapel was a strategic architectural element used by the missionaries to hold mass gatherings, allowing the indigenous population to witness the Christian rites in a familiar outdoor setting.

Atrium

Once the heart of the monastery's public religious activities, the atrium is a vast open space enclosed by walls, illustrating the scope of the congregation area needed for the newly converted indigenous populace.

Posa Corners

The four posas, located at each corner of the atrium, are unique features of these early monasteries, serving as platforms for various parts of the mass and religious festivals.

What else to visit
In and around Exconvento de Calpan

Cacaxtla-Xochitecatl Archeological Site (18.87 km)

Journey into the heart of ancient Mexico at Cacaxtla-Xochitecatl, where the echoes of the Olmeca-Xicalanca people still resonate among the ruins and murals that date back to the height of their civilization.

Val'Quirico (19.97 km)

Val'Quirico, a storybook village in Mexico, presents an enchanting slice of Europe with its cobbled streets and Tuscan-inspired architecture—a serene escape in the heart of Latin America.

Atlixco (21.99 km)

Atlixco, known as "the city of flowers," blooms in the heartland of Puebla, Mexico, with its vibrant floral displays and serene climate, beckoning travelers to its colorful streets and tranquil gardens.

Chautla Hacienda (22.99 km)

The Ex-Hacienda de Chautla, with its grand English-style manor, sits like a storybook castle amidst lush grounds and a tranquil lake, offering a glimpse into Mexico's opulent past.

Puebla (27.63 km)

Puebla, a cultural gem nestled in the heart of Mexico, offers a vivid tableau of colonial architecture, gastronomic excellence, and a rich tapeorial history.

Tlaxcala (33.74 km)

Tlaxcala, a hidden gem amidst Mexico's grandeur, beckons with its rich tapestry of history, culture, and unspoiled beauty – a testament to the endurance of Mexico's smallest state.

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