The Oaxaca city church in which former president Benito Juárez was married in 1843 has been fully restored, the Secretariat of Culture has announced.
Restoration work at Templo San Felipe Neri was led by experts at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) after it was damaged by earthquakes in September of 2017.
The San Felipe church is considered a jewel of baroque architecture for its characteristic ceilings and façade, its elaborately carved and gold-laminated altar and its use of green cantera — a volcanic stone unique to the region. It is also the church that bore witness to the marriage of Benito Juárez and then-Oaxaca city socialite Margarita Maza on July 31, 1843.
Restoration first focused on a crack in the wall behind the main altar, filling in the damaged area with liquid injections of lime.
Next, experts filled in cavities left on an elaborately painted section of a niche using a mixture of lime and sand in equal proportions to those used in the original construction, while carefully scraping away the remains of an earlier restoration effort.
Finally, workers carefully restored the paint over damaged sections and cleaned dust from the church’s main altar to conclude the project.
Construction of the church began in 1733 and was completed in 1770.