Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral is the largest and oldest cathedral in Latin America, attracting hundreds of people from different countries every year.
Located in Mexico City, it also serves as the headquarters of the country’s Roman Catholic Diocese. It is locally known as Catedral Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México.
History of Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
Construction work was rendered in phases spanning more than 200 years from 1873 to its completion in 1813. It replaced the old and original church building that was previously in the same place. The history of the cathedral includes devastating times it has survived. In the year 1629 while construction was still in progress, deep floods swept through the city bringing the whole project to a standstill. Many parts of the city were damaged during the floods. Many years later a fire believed to be sparked by an electric fault consumed most of its interior leaving behind substantial damages, fortunately much of the valuable documents, treasures and ornaments were successfully recovered after the fire.
Other attractions in Mexico City to visit: Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City
Architecture of Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
The layout of the cathedral is magnificent, its exterior comprises of four decorated facades and a beautiful dome. Facing south is the main facade because the cathedral by design faces south. The southern facade looks so beautiful having a number of decorated statues on its supporting pillars. The eastern and western facades have spectacular statues and images of ancient saints on their portals. The oldest of them all is the northern facade constructed in the 16th century.
You cannot visit the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral without falling in love with its fascinating bells. It has two giant bell towers housing a total number of twenty five bells. The first one is the eastern bell tower which carries eighteen of the twenty five bells and the western bell tower housing the remaining seven bells. Some of these bells are massive in size; the largest of them all is named Santa Maria de Guadalupe with a staggering weight of 13,000 kg, followed by another huge set of bells weighing close to 7,000 kg named Dona Maria. These are not the only bells given names; La Ronca is the name of another bell, meaning “the hoarse one” due to the pitch of its sound. Spanish architect Claudio de Arciniega was the mastermind behind the entire design of the building. Arciniega was motivated by exotic Gothic architectural designs from Spain.
Inside the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
Among the unique features of the cathedral are sixteen chapels built at different times, fourteen of which are open to the public. Each of these chapels is called by the name of a saint to whom it was dedicated. Inside the cathedral are altars of different sizes, a number of smaller ones and two big ones called ‘altar of the kings’ and ‘altar of forgiveness’. The interior also has a choir, a sacristy and two organs dating back to the 18th century considered to be the largest of their kind in Latin America.
Address: Plaza de la Constitución S/N, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Opening hours: Open daily 7am – 7pm
Entry fee: Free
Transportation: Allende and Zocalo are the nearest Metro stations
Website: click here
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