History and curiosities of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico

One of the star attractions in the Aztec capital is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico. In it it is possible to see good baroque, not only in the paintings, but also in its construction style. We will know a little better this beautiful building. Can you come with us?

How is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico

Metropolitan Cathedral - Ted McGrath / Flickr.com

In 1524 Hernán Cortés ordered to build a church just above the temple of Quetzalcóatl. That was the origin of a beautiful cathedral that, however, did not open until 1813, after many years in which it had to go through various floods, robberies, earthquakes and fires.

It was in 1562 when work would begin to build a new cathedral, more in line with the importance of the city. But in 1629 the works had to be interrupted by a flood. They would restart years later, but work progressed slowly. We had to wait at the end of the 18th century to see how the main facade, the towers and the dome were built.

Curiosities of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico

Sacristy - Luisalvaz / Commons.wikimedia.org

The sacristy was the first bedroom that was built. From 1626 the first masses began to be celebrated in her. At that time it became a dispensary or baptistery, in addition to other activities until the rest of the current temple was completed.

The central part of the sacristy is occupied by a Christ of Filipino ivory. This is the place that, precisely, the Virgin of Guadalupe came to occupy for six years, although after her appearance she moved to the old basilica of Guadalupe. However, floods caused the carving to return to the cathedral. Today he is again in his basilica.

Y In the cathedral there is a cursed place, in the same bell tower. That was where a young man with little experience died crushed by a large two-ton bell. On the occasion of this event, a red cross was painted on the bell and it is called the “Punished Bell”.

More curiosities: the fence that is in charge of surrounding the temple choir came from China, while the organ has no less than 6,000 tubes.

The jewels of the cathedral

Interior of the cathedral - Mato / Flickr.com

There was a time when many treasures arrived from the Holy Land to the temple. To such an extent that a chapel had to be built to protect them. In fact, in the cathedral there are more than fifty reliquaries.

In the right area of ​​the Relic Chapel, almost hidden under a silver cross, A millimeter splinter is preserved, which they say is from the cross in which Christ was nailed.

The Crypt of the Archbishops

Crypt of the Archbishops - FALLENDEME / commons.wikimedia.org

Under the Altar of the Kings is the Crypt of the Archbishops. It is founded on the pyramid dedicated to the god of the wind. The tombs that lack a shield are from archbishops who either rejected the charge, or died before holding it.

On the other hand, in the center there is a cenotaph with the figure of Fray Juan de Zumárraga, who was the first bishop and archbishop of Mexico. The monument is said to be a fusion of two cultures, since it shows pre-Hispanic motifs, such as a skull and a sacrificial stone.

Of archaeological interest

Archaeological zone - Yazsn / commons.wikimedia.org

There are not many who know that in the subsoil of this enclosure there are pre-Hispanic remains and colonial architecture that are really hidden from the public because the precise security conditions do not exist. What can be seen are four windows that are placed on the floor and show traces of those vestiges.

Thanks to those "windows to the past" you can see part of the walls of ancient temples, fragments of columns or stairways, among others. It is also possible to appreciate remains of an old chapel, some walls from the colonial era and tiles from the 17th and 18th centuries.

«Traveling makes you modest. It makes you see the little place you occupy in the world. »

-Gustave Flaubert-

As you can see, The Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico, in addition to its majesty, hides an exciting history and full of winks to the two main cultures that have marked the future of the country, pre-Hispanic and Hispanic. Culture and religion merge into a great temple.

Cover photo: RealTac / commons.wikimedia.org

Video: SPOTLIGHT: History of Mexico City. Encyclopaedia Britannica (February 2020).