The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Mexico City, situated on top of a former Aztec sacred precinct. It is considered to be the largest as well as the oldest cathedral in the Americas. It is also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary of Mexico City.
Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral History
Despite its modern sounding name, the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral was first built sometime in 1573. The cathedral was built in sections surrounding an older church that was already constructed in the area right after the Spanish conquest of the city. As the sections of the new cathedral were built, it eventually replaced the original church entirely. The cathedral was eventually finished by 1813.
Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral Design
The cathedral was designed by Spanish architect Claudio de Arcineiga who also planned for its construction. He drew inspiration for the design from the Gothic cathedrals found in Spain during that time. But its main architectural style is considered as a mixture of Baroque, Renaissance and Neo-classical styles.
The cathedral spans 110 meters or 360 feet long and 55 meters or 179 feet wide.
The cathedral is designed with four facades that also contain 3 main portals that are flanked by numerous columns and statues. Along with a central dome, the cathedral was also designed to have 5 naves, 74 arches, 40 columns, and 52 vaults.
Inside the cathedral, there are 5 large altars, 16 chapels, a choir area, a corridor, capitulary room as well as a sacristy. Its two bell towers contain a total of 25 bells all in all. There is a tabernacle adjacent to the cathedral which was built by Lorenzo Rodriguez during the height of the Baroque period from 1749 to 1760. It contains the baptistery that also serves as the church registry and also houses the archives and the vestments of the Archbishop.