Saturday, January 23, 2016

Metropolitan Cathedral - Mexico City

Catedra Metropolitana - Ciudad Mexico
The most important monument of the historic center is the Metropolitan Cathedral - Catedral Metropolitana. It is the oldest cathedral in Latin America.  Its history goes back to Hermán Cortés who chose the place for the future cathedral in 1524. Today it is impossible to determine if it is true or he just built a regular church at that site. But it is fact that they used stones from demolished Aztec temples, including of the Templo Mayor. The remnants of the Templo Mayor can be seen next to the cathedral.
Construction of the church lasted almost three hundred years.  In the meantime plans, architects and styles kept changing. Actually, it is difficult to say when the construction of the present building started and when it was completed.   There are different sources providing various dates.  Generally speaking work lasted from 16th to 18th century. History lovers, who speak Spanish, can find some relevant texts at the cathedral’s website.

Catedra Metropolitana - ciudad Mexico

Catedra Metropolitana - Ciudad Mexico - altarMetropolitan Cathedral is also the biggest cathedral in Latin America. It is 100 meters long, 46 meters wide with 5 naves impressive. While walking inside we realize and sense that the structure, like the entire city, is sinking.  It is incredible that the structure has not fallen apart. But actually we can visit the cathedral today due to the efforts of city authorities.  They have invested considerable amount of money to preserve the monument. In the year 2000 the cathedral was included in the UNESCO list of the most endangered monuments.
The interior decoration of the cathedral includes elements of various architectural styles, including typical for Mexico churriguera style. Two famous altars, Altar de los Reyes and the Altar del Perdón, are located in the central nave.  There are 14 more chapels with many works of art.

There is a chapel of the Blessed Sacrament next to the Cathedral. The chapel, built in the seventeenth century, is a regular place of worship. But it is worth paying attention to façade ornaments made of white and red stone.

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