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Posts Tagged ‘Santo Domingo’

Friends from the USA arrived on Friday and yesterday I played tour guide, showing them around the city.  It was great fun!  Up to Organic Market we went, pausing along the way to photograph the always amazing street art (future blog posts), stumbling on a vela in honor of San Judas Tadeo (aka, St. Jude, patron of desperate causes and hospitals) at Carmen Alta church with women in full Tehuana traje (think: Frida Kahlo), and catching a wedding at Santo Domingo, with requisite band, dancers, monos, marmota, and women wearing impossibly high heels.

lower legs of woman wearing 4+ inch high heels
I don’t think I could even stand on a smooth flat surface, let alone walk on cobblestones in stilettos like that.  If I even tried, I suspect I would wind up on the ground and severely tempted to start praying to San Judas Tadeo!

Lower legs and feet of 3 women wearing high heels

However, weddings at Santo Domingo are for the socially prominent and wealthy.

Lower legs of a woman wearing black high (4") heels.

I am neither well connected nor well heeled, so I don’t think I will be called upon to go shopping for tacones (high heels) in the near future.   If such an unlikely invite were to come my way, I might be tempted to follow this young guest’s lead…

Lower legs of a young woman wearing gym shoes

Unbelievably, according to Mexico Retold’s recent humorous blog post, Tacos y Tacones, Mexico City actually played host to a 100 meter High Heel Race.  My ankles ached just watching the video and I’m inclined to think the only thing high heels are good for is reclining…

Cushioned chair in the shape of a high heeled shoe

As the old saying goes, “Come on in, take a load off!”

 

 

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Yesterday, under a full moon…

and clutching our “pan bendito” (blessed bread), we began our pilgrimage.  Jueves Santo (Holy/Maundy Thursday) tradition calls for visiting 7 churches (la visita de las siete casas) in the city with one’s pan bendito, which must be kept to offer to guests, should any grace our doorstep.  This all relates back to Jesus’s Last Supper, which this date commemorates.

3 buns on a plate

First stop was the nearby Templo de San José, where palm fronds were also distributed and believers used them to brush up and down the statue of Jesus.  Hands also ran down his legs and then were used to touch one’s face.

After emerging from the side door of the jam-packed church, we set off for Templo de San Felipe Neri (whose picturesque dome can be seen (left of center) on my blog banner-head).

Altar with candles and lights.

Next stop was Carmen Abajo

Altar with JHS on banner above altar

followed by the far right side chapel of the La Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.  A plaque at the entrance of the chapel read, “El maestro esta aqui y te llama” (The teacher is here and calls you) and the multitude seemed to be heeding the call.

Altar with red banners reading, "De este pan no morirá; El pan de vida eterna"

We then strolled across the zócalo to the Jesuit, Templo de la Compañía de Jesus.

Altar with candles and flanked with yellow and white floral arrangements

We changed direction and headed north up the Álcala.  Big mistake!  A mosh pit (Chris, this WAS a mosh pit) surrounding a Tuna band that was playing in the middle of the street, causing gridlock and bringing us to an abrupt stop.  Eventually, following our blocker (my son, the lineman would be proud), we eventually found light and continued up to Preciosa Sangre de Cristo Templo, where we had earlier spent 1-1/2 hours (and it was still going on when we left!) at a mass where the priest reenacted Jesus washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper.

God in a cloud above a lamb on an altar, draped in red cloth.

Strolling across the Álcala to Santo Domingo was much less challenging. The aisle to Santo Domingo’s main altar was blocked and we were routed to a side chapel.  Hurray, we did it — this made seven churches visited!

Gold encrusted altar

However, though bleary-eyed (as evidenced by the photo below), we opted for just one more, Carmen Alto.

White bearded man hovering in the clouds above lighted candles

Home beckoned…  and sleep came easily under the watch of the moon, now appropriately encircled by a halo.

Full moon with halo shining from behind clouds

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On my way to the Oaxaca Lending Library this morning, I was stopped in my tracks by tree shadows and dappled lavender jacaranda blossoms on the rust red of newly landscaped planter beds of Santo Domingo.  Light, shadows, color, texture…

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I think the broom suspended in the tree is a nice touch!

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