Perhaps in no other place in the country can the living tradition of the pre-Hispanic past be perceived so strongly as in Oaxaca. A contributing factor is undoubtedly that some fifteen indigenous languages are still spoken in the state, some of them perhaps age-old. Furthermore, the majestic presence of Monte Albán, Lambityeco, Yagul, Zaachila and Mitla seem to perpetuate for ever the echoes of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations.
Oaxaca is also admirable for its colonial architecture, a monumental expression without which Mexican baroque would not be understood: Oaxaca cathedral, the convent of Santo Domingo, the convent of Cuilapan are examples of Mexico’s most ancient colonial buildings. The urban beauty of its capital, for example, is so stunning that in 1987 UNESCO did not doubt in making it a World Heritage Site (together with the Monte Albán architectural zone).
Oaxaca, whose Isthmus of Tehuantepec separates North America from Central America, and whose lands formed part of the marquisate of Hernán Cortés, has everything: archeology, colonial art and ancestral traditions.