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Santo Tomas Church

Plaza Mayor, Chichicastenango, Guatemala
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84%
Type: Religious Sites, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Mayans enter through the front door, but others are relegated to the side door of this unusual 1540 church which combines Catholic and Mayan spiritual practices.
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59 reviews from our community

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Warrington, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
29 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2014

Terrific scene of colour and activity in front of the church contrasted with the spiritual feel of the inside of this building. Although an RC church it allows Mayan spirituality to thrive alongside it. In addition to the normal church interior features there were platforms in the centre of the aisle where Mayan spiritual leaders were performing their own ceremonies.... More

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Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
57 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

The huge steps filled with flower vendors is quite a sight for the market weary. On a Sunday morning, there is often a Mayan Nass going on inside. Altar very simple, but congregational seats plentiful.

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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
522 reviews 522 reviews
297 attraction reviews
309 helpful votes 309 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

We went up the stairs and saw 2 locals perform a Mayan ritual outside the church. It looked like a smudging ritual as they chanted. Beautiful scent. A service was also in session so we stayed a little and observed this. A simple church but quaint. Only 1-2 mins walk from Mayan inn hotel. From the church, we could see... More

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Boca Raton, Florida
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342 reviews 342 reviews
166 attraction reviews
310 helpful votes 310 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

This church was originally built circa 1545 AD on a precolumbian temple platform. Its Mayan influence is readily evident from the 18 steps, one for every month of the Mayan calendar. It's now a Roman Catholic church, located in the market place. Interesting but not spectacular.

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Alexandroupoli, Greece
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373 reviews 373 reviews
132 attraction reviews
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

lovely church in this mountain village, stange way and history of lighting the candles on the church floor

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Faro, Portugal
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
21 attraction reviews
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

Amazing atmosphere. Church was full on Sunday (market day). The service is held in both Mayan and Spanish.

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Murfreesboro, Tn
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
15 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

This is a stark contrast to the colorful market outside. There are concrete platforms in the isles where sacrifices and offerings are made by the Mayan priests. For me it was a very disturbing place that tries to combine the Catholic Church with ritualistic sacrifices, not two that go together. It is a worthwhile place to visit to see if... More

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Charlottetown, PEI
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237 reviews 237 reviews
121 attraction reviews
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

Quite the contrast between the madness outside (especially during the Sunday market) and inside the church. Be respectful but do take the time to visit.

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Michigan
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136 reviews 136 reviews
44 attraction reviews
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

Great historical site. There are two churches fronting the plaza, both the site of Maya ceremony, a blend here of Maya and Christian symbolic ritual and costume.

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Tyringham
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
38 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

Local guides abound all ready to help which I needed with all the ancient stairs. Church of Santo Thomas, merely 400 years old, built on a pre-Columbian temple platform. Surrounded by a market place selling textiles, pottery, handcrafts, meat, fruits & vegetables, jewelry, masks and knives and flute-like whistles,..

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