Beyond the Walls: Oaxaca City, Mexico

Look past Oaxaca’s chaotic, colourful streets and you’ll find colonial buildings reimagined as libraries, schools and galleries.



We’d
spent seven hours on an overnight bus before we reached the
city of Oaxaca.
It was at once elegant and colourful, layered with the kind of rich
culture and history that has earned it recognition as a Unesco
World Heritage Site.

Moved by the need to take shelter from the sun, we ventured
beyond some of the city’s vibrant, colonial facades and preserved
balconies, and into buildings reincarnated as libraries, galleries
and guesthouses. It was a more peaceful atmosphere inside, a
seemingly slower pace of life that runs in parallel to the frenetic
streets.

In the former monastic grounds of the Church of Santo Domingo,
we stumbled across the Jard├Čn Etnobot├ánico, a two-acre botanical
garden that showcases flora native to Oaxaca, Mexico’s most
biodiverse region. Walking through the grounds at sunset, rays
reflected off the yellow stone of the 16th-century church, bathing
the cacti in an ethereal light.

Here, with the noise of the outside world hushed, we felt a deep
sense of spirituality. Our sense of time and space dilated, and we
could appreciate every detail as never before.

@lorenzozandri | lorenzozandri.com