The main façade (see picture 1 at right), clearly copied from the Spanish-Plateresque façade of Acolman, is an inspired example of imaginative Indian adaptation of the Plateresque style, the latter's strong lines being softened here by a complicated pattern of flowers and foliage.
It was in the decoration of this convento at Yuriria that a truly Mexican Plateresque style was created.
At the side of the church tower are statues of St Peter and St Paul. The side elevation with the doorway takes the form of a scaled-down version of the main façade.
At that point is located a statue of St Nicholás of Tolentino, the Augustinian patron saint of the local Mexican Augustinian Province, above the cornice.
The interior of the church was partially damaged by fire in the 19th century, but later restored. The first Mass was celebrated in the church on the feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) in 1559.
The convento served for 300 years as the house of studies for local candidates to the Order of Saint Augustine.
The monastery's superb two-storey cloister with its magnificent flight of steps consists of a series of Gothic arcades.
The entrance to the Augustinian cloister (internal courtyard, clausuro) of the convento is through the Porch of the racionero formed by four arcs of average point with leaned pillars and pillars. The portería has a simple cover of plateresco style, like other Mexican monastic buildings of the sixteenth century.
The cloister itself is developed around a square patio with a covered walkway (veranda) at its perimeter on two levels (stories).(See picture 3 at right).
By these walkways the rooms of the ground floor can be entered, as well as the cells (rooms for sleeping) of the top storey.
On the top floor (storey) the columns are of dóric style.
Since the time when the Augustinians were forced out during the political changes in Mexico during the nineteenth century, the church has been served by local diocesan priests, and the former Augustinian residence came into the possession of the government.
In 1921 the convento was assigned to the National Historical and Artistic Monument General Inspectorate.
On 13th January 1933 it was declared a national monument for conservation, and developed as the Colonial Museum of Yuriria, under the charge of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
An extensive collection of pre-Hispanic, Hispanic and colonial Mexican cultural items are now on permanent display there.
Photos (at right):
Picture 1: Facade, including main door to the church.
Picture 2: A rear view of the massive building.
Picture 3: Part of the two-level cloister.
Further images of the convento at Yuriria are available on the internet at: