The Watch

Templo y Convento de Los Santos Reyes y Convento de la Comunidad (Santos Reyes Church and Monastery and la Comunidad Convent)

Metztitlán, Mexico

2010 World Monuments Watch

When the town of Metztitlán, located in the Sierra Alta region of the state of Hidalgo, was established during the first half of the 16th century, La Comunidad Convent and later Los Santos Reyes Monastery were built on two of the highest points in the new settlement. These two important religious structures came to reflect the blending of Mesoamerican and European cultures and traditions, producing a unique artistic and architectural language. La Comunidad Convent was the first building constructed by the order of St. Augustine in Metztitlán and remains one of the oldest in the entire country. Los Santos Reyes Monastery, founded by the Augustinian order in 1570, survived the 19th-century laws that allowed religious properties to be expropriated and remains in use for religious purposes. The complex retains nearly all of its original features. In 1991 and 1992, Metztitlán suffered severe soil displacements. If these geological phenomena persist, these two highly significant buildings will be compromised. The Dirección General de Sitios y Monumentos del Patrimonio Cultural (DGSMPC) hopes to raise public awareness about this plight and to develop countermeasures to control the shifting subsoil that is adversely affecting these historic treasures of the early Spanish colonial era.

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