The cathedral and convent complex is one of the oldest and largest in the Americas. Built in the sixteenth century by Franciscan missionaries, it reveals a microcosm of Mexican history—of conquest and conversion and colonial ties across the Spanish empire.
The cathedral’s façade is noted for the Franciscan cord carved in stone, while inside the beautiful coffered ceiling is done in the Mudejar style. The cathedral’s treasures can be found in the main altarpiece and a side chapel that contains the baptismal font where the first Tlaxcalan princes converted to Catholicism, the first pulpit of New Spain, and a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi from the Philippines. Another side chapel is dedicated to three young boys, the “Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala,” who were killed for their evangelical fervor.