The word Mitla comes from Náhuatl: "Micltán" which in Mixtec language was “Ñuu Ndiyi” and both means "Place of the Dead", while in Zapotec was called “Lyobaa”: "Place of Rest".
It is an archaeological site where many archaeologists have worked among which Leopoldo Batres highlights (1852-1926), he discovered Zapotec foundation under Mixtec existing decorations.
In Mitla there is evidence of human occupation since the beginning of our era (0-200). With the disappearance of Monte Albán as nucleus of power, Mitla became a very important town that served as the center of power for the Zapotecs of the valley. Its maximum height growth occurred between 950 and 1521 AD
In the seventeenth century there was built, on the Patio C, the Catholic Church of St. Paul, for his, they occupied building materials obtained by destroying various pre-Hispanic palaces; structurally, the Temple of San Pablo was supported by monolithic lintels of the lower room. The courtyards A and B were also modified to be converted into curacy; In “Patio A” they installed stables, and a garbage place, while in the “Patio B” the cure's house.
This reusability, for religious purposes, lost effect with the time, except the Church of St. Paul due to the provisions of the Reform Laws whit the decreed of the "Law of Nationalization of Ecclesiastical goods" issued during the period of government of President Juárez in 1859.