The church of Santa Maria del Tule stands in the town centre. It was built in stone over an ancient pagan shrine, and is surrounded by other buildings and areas belonging to the parish. A large walled plaza spreads in front of the church. The Tule, an ahuehuele or Mexican coniferous tree (taxodium mucronatum), stands near the church entrance. According to local chroniclers this tree is more than two thousand years old.
Its extraordinary trunk is 35 metres in diameter and its enormous crown, nearly 30 metres high, is taller than the church and its two towers. The ancient indigenous population considered this tree as sacred. Through various legends, townsfolk have related the various animal-shaped protuberances of this imposing tree to their mythological world. With time, it has become a millennia-old landmark, referred to in Aztec chronicles as the symbol of the town where it is located. To this day, it has kept this distinction both at state and national level.