Santo Tomas Church, Chichicastenango

#1 of 7 in Things to do in Chichicastenango
Built around 1545 on top of a pre-Columbian temple, Santo Tomas Church exudes a mystical and spiritual vibe. Climb up the massive Mayan stairs to discover the power of ancient tradition, enduring hand in hand here with modern Christianity. Enter the dim interior and see old pictures of saints covered with black soot, the result of centuries of incense and candle burning. Observe Mayan rituals and prayers and learn about some of the oldest religious traditions in the world--all this in the middle of a vibrant, bustling market. For Santo Tomas Church and beyond, use our Chichicastenango sightseeing planning tool to get the most from your Chichicastenango vacation.
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Santo Tomas Church Reviews
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  • The church has a thick smell of oil, and in the main aisle there is a sacrificial ritual, and the good you can see the Yaya people here, according to the priest's instructions to practice the elegant ritual or prayer style.
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  • Interesting church, but then there are many like this all over Guatemala and this one does not justify the long drive there. Clearly the center of town. Sadly most of the old paintings are totally bla...  more »
  • The Iglesias de Santo Tomas is simply magnificent. Said to have been built on the remains of a Cakchiquel Maya temple. A visit here on a Sunday brings the technicolour spectacle of the market directly in front of the church, whilst inside is a blend of Roman Catholic mass and ancient Maya tradition. Copal incense is burned inside and around the church steps. Making the air thick with the sweet scent - not unlike that of Frankincense. A true sensory experience.
  • Visited and lived in this town for a mission trip. Fascinating culture, food and people of the mountains. Highly recommended - worth the extra travel time.
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