One of the most unique and striking colonial structures in Chiapas, perhaps all of Mexico, La Pila (The Fountain) rises dramatically from the southern end of Chiapa de Corzo’s large central plaza. Built in 1562, it features classic Mudejar and Gothic features, including an octagonal shape (some say intended to resemble the Spanish crown), numerous arches, and flying buttresses extending from each of the corners.
It’s made entirely of red-orange brick, yet remains in remarkably good condition thanks to extensive restoration. A system of pipes once drew river water into the fountain’s central basin (also octagonal), supplying the town with water and townswomen a place to socialize and do laundry.
A gorgeous central dome is braced by Gothic arches and decorated inside and out with intricate brickwork. Today, informational plaques provide a thumbnail history of the city.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition