Santo Domingo cathedral (daily except 3–4 p.m.) doesn’t face Chiapa de Corzo ’s main square, so its size and prominence aren’t immediately obvious. Yet this is one big church, and even larger if you count the adjacent ex-convent of the same name (now a museum and exhibition space). The cathedral stretches nearly a city block, with thick white walls and high wood-beam ceilings.
The altar originally featured ornate retablos (large finely carved wood panels), though they’ve all disappeared, save a fragment on view at El Calvario church, east of the center. The current altar is quite pretty all the same, made of warm unpolished wood that’s incised with delicate flower patterns.
The church’s gargantuan main bell, which dates to 1576, was cast from copper, silver, and reportedly a dash of gold, and weighs upwards of 4,500 kilograms (10,000 lbs); its tolling can be heard for miles.
The Ex-Convento Santo Domingo was built in 1554, in the usual design of Dominican friars, with tile floors, thick walls, and broad archways edging serene patios. The original structure was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1800s, then painstakingly reconstructed. Today its spacious courtyards and numerous salas (rooms) are put to excellent use as an exhibition space, with temporary and revolving exhibits ranging from ceremonial masks and indigenous textiles from around Chiapas  and Mexico, to profiles of local and renowned artists and cultural figures. The convent is home to the Museo de Laca  (Lacquerware Museum).