Rising out of the Zocalo in Mexico City are the numerous towers of the Metropolitan Cathedral. It’s the first thing you see despite the crowds!
Talk about history with a European feel.
As we wander through this ancient cathedral we notice the floor severely uphill. Mexico City is built on an old lake bed, I’m wondering what on earth the Aztecs were thinking? We discover the cathedral and the Sagario Chapel next to it have sunk into the soft clay and lake bottom.
Now despite a massive reconstruction of the foundations by Mexico City the base of the facade is still far from level and straight. Not helping, is the 127,000 tons of towers that sit above! Ok – I don’t want to be in there in one of those many earthquake!
Nevertheless it’s an overwhelming piece of architecture, collection of paintings, altarpieces, and statues including 14 chapels, 5 aisles,a dominant altar and 2 large bell towers with at least 25 bells!
It’s the oldest and largest cathedral in all of Latin America built around the late 16th century it’s a medley of of baroque, neoclassic, and Mexican churrigueresque architecture – a true feast for the visual senses.
This towering cathedral begun construction in 1567 and finished in 1788, that’s 2 centuries! I am also curious as to what the construction site may have looked like back then. Such grandeur and detail with no large scale machinery must have been some mission. I can’t imagine the tradesmen of today doing all this hard labour without complaints.
The cathedral is home to two of the largest 18th-century organs in the Americas. There is a crypt underneath the cathedral that holds the remains of many former archbishops.
As you can see you can see all this sends my camera into overdrive and demands my attention. I’ve been really enjoying my ‘cathedral time’ here in Mexico, although not a religious person, it forms so much of life here, I cannot ignore it if I am to experience the true culture.
It seems we visit at least one cathedral every day!
I might have to turn my ABC into ‘Another Beautiful Cathedral’
Do you visit Cathedrals on your travels? Share your thoughts, we’d love your comments.