Church of Santa Prisca and its Surroundings

Photo by Frédéric M.

Church of Santa Prisca and its Surroundings is part of the Tentative list of Mexico in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Church of Santa Prisca is a baroque church erected between 1751 and 1758. It is built of pink stone, features two Churrigueresque towers and has a remarkable interior containing numerous artistic achievements (paintings, sculptures) including nine remarkable alterpieces. It is the focal point of the historic centre of Taxco and illustrates the wealth resulting from the mining industry in this town.

Map of Church of Santa Prisca and its Surroundings

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Malta - 06-Feb-22 -

Church of Santa Prisca and its Surroundings (T) by Clyde

I visited Taxco in Guerrero in December 2021. The Church of Santa Prisca and its surroundings are visible from quite a distance away from a viewpoint just before heading towards the chaotic but quaint town of Taxco. Its setting in the hillside reminded me a bit of Rocamadour in France and like it Taxco is very popular with Mexicans and international tourists alike.

Just next to the viewpoint before entering town, a makeshift information kiosk for tourists was a godsend not only for providing us a small map of the town and showing us from the viewpoint the approximate location of each highlight, but mostly for suggesting a number of estanciamentos (parking lots) immediately upon arriving, most of which charge around 15 pesos per hour. It is wise to park here not only because it's easy to leave town afterwards but also because on foot it's just a pleasant walk to the Church of Santa Prisca. When we visited there still was a Christmas flower display in front of the church making the intricate New Spanish Baroque facade of the church even more photogenic from the upper floor of the restaurants and bars just opposite. The intricate facade of the Church of Santa Prisca in a way is quite similar to that of the Zacatecas cathedral. Both churches proudly display the wealth generated by the silver mines in the 18th century in pink stone.

The Church of Santa Prisca was the tallest building in Mexico at the time, but was later surpassed by the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in San Luis Potosí. The highlight of the church's exterior are its ornate Churrigueresque twin towers while the highlight of the church's interior are its 9 huge gilded altarpieces. Another panoramic viewpoint over the town of Taxco is from near the Christ of Taxco statue. Just like other inscribed towns and cities in Mexico, the pueblo magico of Taxco is dotted with several churches and chapels. It is full of artisan shops mostly selling silver and although traffic is quite a problem (apparently slowly but constantly causing cracks to the church together with sysmic and mining activity), if you're a fan of old Volkswagen Beetles, you'll have a field day here as most of the cars and white taxis are old VW Beetles.

Taxco certainly doesn't need to be inscribed on the WH list to attract tourists, although perhaps it would help to maintain and preserve its heritage for generations to come.

Wojciech Fedoruk

Poland - 14-Apr-19 -

Church of Santa Prisca and its Surroundings (T) by Wojciech Fedoruk

This church is treated as one of the most important examples of Mexican baroque art. It is situated on top of the hill in the center of Taxco de Allarcon and its towers are visible from really long distance. The church itself is very nice. The ceiling is plain white but what makes it special are wooden crafted altars that are really masterpieces of art.

Does it deserve WH status? Well, I doubt it, Mexico has numerous examples of great baroque churches, many of them inscribed under “Historic center of ...”.

Does the church itself deserve a detour? I would hesitate to say yes unless you are very close (e.g. go from Mexico City to Acapulco).

But is it worth to go there? YES, definitely! Not exactly because of the church but because of lovely town of Taxco de Allarcon. This town is really picturesque, situated on the layer of the mountain, with lake below. On the way to Mexico City there are several viewing points where you can admire its full panorama, which is particularly appealing at night. Unlike all inscribed historic centers in Mexico, that are full of colors, Taxco de Allarcon is entirely white. Entire town is really hilly and it is quite difficult to walk but you can always take a taxi (and all taxies in Taxco are stylish white Volksvagen Beetles). Most of the buildings are renovated and the town looks wonderful, especially after dark. I have visited all inscribed historic centers in Mexico and Taxco appeared to me as superior to all of them.

Jorge Daniel Maga

Spain - 23-Jan-13 -

Although not as big as Santiago de Compostela's church, Sant Prisca is a beautiful church that well deserves to be declared a WHS. Not only is the faade of the church amazing, but also its gold covered insides. I've never seen so much detail and gold in one single church, and let me tell you, I've visited quite a few churches in Europe. I guess the amount of gold has to do with the fact that Taxco was and still is a mining town. Anyways, all the inside walls are covered with gold frames, which is quite amazing. The outsides require a little bit of maintenance, particularly the sides of the church, but I truly recommend a visit. I guess the best part of it is seeing the church as part of the really outstanding urban landscape that is the mining city of Taxco. The city was erected in the middle of a really hazardous mountain range. The valley, covered with white traditional houses, and the church in the center of it all, is quite a view. Taxco is a must if you're in Mexico City, as it's only 3 hours away.

Full Name
Church of Santa Prisca and its Surroundings
Religious structure - Christian
2001 Added to Tentative List

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Church of Santa Prisca and its Surroundings (T)
WHS 1997-2024