Saturday, February 4, 2012

Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, Ciudad De Mexico

As I emerged from Ciudad de México's Zócalo Metro Station, my eyes were instantly drawn to the monolithic Metropolitan Cathedral or Catedral Metropolitana across Plaza de la Constitución. I panted as I climbed the last steps of the staircase, and occasionally bumped into fellow commuters who rushed past. Luna, whom I was lugging, didn't seem to mind the chaos. Hubby on the other hand, looked dazed as he puffed his way up the crowded stairs while dragging the stroller.


Finally after three days of locking ourselves in the guesthouse since we landed on Mexican soil, we ditched our respective jobs for a few hours to see the city. Or at least, a miniscule portion of it. Our taxiless trip from the guesthouse to the zócalo (main plaza) required us a twenty-minute walk, and a metro train ride that passed through four stations. Not exactly the most convenient way to go, but only cost us 3 MXN (Mexican peso) each.


I surveyed the familiar vista. The scene exuded a Quiapo Church vibe, sans the hawked mysterious herbal medicines. We weaved our way through bystanders and peddlers selling the randomest merchandise, until we made it to the entrance of the cathedral. I was amazed by the scale of them all: The pillars, altars, paintings and sculptures. What I uttered next was perhaps the most apt phrase for this kind of situation, "Oh my God!".


It wasn't as crowded as I imagined, and a fourth of the visitors were foreign tourists snapping shots with their ginormous cameras. The Metropolitan Cathedral is the largest in the Americas and was built for more than two hundred years in sections. This baroque structure houses impressive functional art similar (if not more grandiose) to other magnificent churches'. However, it also withholds a rather dark past.


The cathedral sits on the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlán, which Spain conquered and colonized. During ancient times, the Spanish would construct their churches atop the natives' temples or sacred ground to represent their power over the land (it was also common practice to use the destroyed temple's stones in building the new church). Death awaited the natives who resisted. Quite a harrowing tale, don't you think?


But the cathedral's glitz may not remind you of that. It will instead, mesmerize. And that's what it did to us as we walked down its aisles and round the corners. We spent a significant time sitting on the pews too, just to take all that awesomeness in.

After an hour of rare solemnity, we exited the cathedral's main portal and were greeted once again by disquietude. Our feet led us to the next stop, Palacio Nacional.

Share



This page was viewed times.

62 comments:

Claire @lakwatsera de primera said...
February 6, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Love the intricate details on the cathedral's facade. (Is that the pram that was stolen in Mexico?)

Edmaration etc said...
February 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Ang gara @Gaye!

Parang 4 na churches na magkakadikit in all corners may dating ang facade. Ang komplikado pa ng mga carvings ba yan?

Iba talaga ang devotion ng mga Espaniol na sumakop dito.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Yez Claire, that's the one. Sherv hated lugging that pram whenever we took the metro. So he was quite thankful it was stolen.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Edmar, the cathedral's got four facades, so perhaps that's why :) Carvings are insanely intricate!

Simurgh said...
February 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

The first photo took me by surprise..
Its MASSIVE!!!! Judging by the distance which the picture was taken, and on a closer look, the sculptures look very intricate.
If one had to study every detail of it, it could probably take ages to finish! :)

lakwatsero said...
February 6, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Haha,Luna didn't mind the chaos. So like the mother, I guess. Born to explore. I don't know if "Oh my God!" would suffice if I were in your situation. That 4 photos you posted already made me say that. Pano pa kaya kung I was looking at the real thing.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Simurgh, yup that distant shot gives you guys an idea of its massive scale :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 1:28 PM

DG, haha! Sanay sa Quiapo eh. The chaos actually made me feel 'at home'.

killerfillers said...
February 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Overwhelming nga yang size ng Cathedral na yan and the details parang antagal ginawa.:) Anyhoo were you able to stop by Zihuatanejo?

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Nope, didn't have time and its location's quite out of the way too.

rome said...
February 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

amazing! every time I travel, Im always fascinated by old and vintage cathedrals. This one is a tower of beauty! i love the pix!

joan | the backpack chronicles said...
February 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM

wow that is one HUGE church! at ang galing ng mga detalye! very complicated at intricate. impressive!

kaso nga lang talagang kailangan dun din sa templo ng mga sinasakupan itayo ang bagong church? hindi masyadong power play noh?

Jerome said...
February 6, 2012 at 3:31 PM

SIMBAHAN ba kamo??? and I thought Taal Church is huge hehe, manliliit sya pag tinabi sa simabahan na 'to hehe

ROMELO ITONG said...
February 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM

ang ganda ng altar... tama ba? altar yon di ba? loob at labas ay napakahistorical ng dating nung simbahan

violy vallester said...
February 6, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Wow I love the intricate architectural design of the church, it's one a kind! Love i!! ;)

ardee sean said...
February 6, 2012 at 4:48 PM

sa mga lugar na mga ganto, isa lang ang habit ko.. nganga.. ganda ganda naman po...

Journeys and Travels said...
February 6, 2012 at 5:23 PM

ang ganda ng church and inggit ako kasi it is in Mexico. I love your photos Gaye kasi it showed us how grand the church is and the columns, perfect then the saints on the wall.

Nurse Lakwatsero said...
February 6, 2012 at 7:16 PM

What a majestic church. I admire how Spanish influences are being kept and celebrated for their beauty like in the Philippines.

Karla said...
February 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Wow! The cathedral is really huge. :) It's like a combination of different churches. I shiver at the thought of its dark past. I wonder if the practice was also done here in our country.

Cha said...
February 6, 2012 at 7:47 PM

This is a definite must see! I should act fast and secure a visa ASAP to see this grandiose church! Since the Cathedral was constructed atop Aztec ruins, and due to the sheer weight of marble, stone and brick, the Cathedral is sinking at a slow, but very noticeable rate.

Blanca Dela Cruz said...
February 6, 2012 at 8:40 PM

these are beautiful shots. Thanks for "bringing" us here through your photos.:)

Jovial Wanderer said...
February 6, 2012 at 8:44 PM

ang ganda! :) Btw, nakahanap nako ng church for my wedding. St. Peter and Paul in Burgos. hihi!

thepinaysolobackpacker said...
February 6, 2012 at 9:45 PM

ganda ng facade ng church! :) i'm so happy for you Gay, an dame na nangyari s buhay mu w/n the last 2 yrs since i met you in the blogosphere, and i;m envious kase ako and2 pa din,same same, i need to move on! lol by the way, when you get back in Aug, i will really abang for you and Luna, i haven't seen Luna ever! and that's sad kase date, buntis ka pa, inaabangan ko na ang paglabas nya! haha

Gladys | ByahengBarok.com said...
February 6, 2012 at 10:36 PM

ang daming tao... was watching the video and naguguluhan ako sa dami ng tao. true, very quiapo. hahaha! but the church really looks magnificent. luna is so cute sleeping on her stroller :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Joan, yup. Power play. And it's sad, not so Catholic :(

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Romel, the Altar of Forgiveness. The cathedral's got many altars.

Ardee, LOL @ "nganga".

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 11:35 PM

Christine, hiyesss! Now time to look for a groom ;p

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Gael, OMG yesss! So much stuff happened ever since. I just gave birth when we met, and now Luna's running around already! We'll see you promise, hopefully we get to travel as well.

pinoydaysleeper.com said...
February 6, 2012 at 11:56 PM

huwaw naman...ganda ng mga photos...
nice nice

KC Canlas | Spread Some Awesome said...
February 7, 2012 at 12:01 AM

I am speechless. The architecture of the cathedral is amazing. Intricate details. Awesome!

AJ said...
February 7, 2012 at 1:30 AM

It's monolithic and OMG-worthy indeed. The facade and the interior are ornately designed, like majorly. KKLK. I'd easily spend an entire day here! Oh, and Luna is such a seasoned traveler na, oblivious sa chaos. Sana ako din, di maarte like her. :)

Earlied said...
February 7, 2012 at 5:35 AM

Wow.. I absolutely love the architecture..it is old and modern entwined, yet there is so much class and intricacy.

Old cathedrals are really heavenly and this photos are just standing proof to that plus the interior is profoundly breathtaking.

Thanks for sharing.

Kristeta  (kalokang Pinay) said...
February 7, 2012 at 6:22 AM

Wow! So much detail was captured by your wonderful photos. Thanks for taking us there. I've not read a blog about Mexico before. Luna is so lucky to be able to travel to beautiful & exciting places =)

Pinoy Adventurista said...
February 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM

awesome church! sana mag ganyan din dito sa Pinas! thanks for sharing Gay! :)

The Shades of Grey | Elal said...
February 7, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Grabeh! Super ganda ng church. Bucket list na to!

Tin | The Average Jane said...
February 7, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Beautiful. Reminds me of Intramuros churches. How come it seems like 2 different churches placed side-by-side?

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 7, 2012 at 11:58 AM

The other one is the tabernacle. But they're linked together :)

enzo said...
February 7, 2012 at 1:33 PM

That gold church altar in there reminds me of Baclayon Church in Bohol. Amazing architectural designs. Viva Mexico!

Blair Villanueva said...
February 7, 2012 at 3:02 PM

very intricate and historic cathedral.. how many years kaya ang construction niyan?

V3ronica L4ur3l said...
February 7, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Comparing our structures to theirs is not competition...

Jenny O'Toole said...
February 7, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Interesting! I don't know why I am so interested with churches. Nice photographs and well detailed artice. Cheers! Keep travelling and sharing your experience with us.

Gil Camporazo | RandomThoughts! said...
February 7, 2012 at 6:24 PM

The Cathedral is architecturally amazing! If I was also there, I couldn't hold myself from appreciating the picturesque artifacts!

dong ho said...
February 7, 2012 at 8:44 PM

they have some of the nicest and grand churches Gay. so nice if ill be able to reach this part of the world.

Earl (Suroy Pilipinas) said...
February 7, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Four facades? To describe this church as MASSIVE would be an understatement. Great photos Gay!

chino said...
February 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM

nainggit ako naexplore ma na ata ang magagandang places sa mexico ako mexico pampanga pa lang hahaha

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 7, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Enzo, yeaahh! Baclayon Church!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 7, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Blair, it took 200 years to build that cathedral.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 8, 2012 at 12:17 AM

Chino, dami kong tawa sa Mexico, Pampanga. Di bale dyan din ako nagsimula :)

blissfulguro said...
February 8, 2012 at 9:20 AM

ang bongga ng unang photo grabe! it is H-U-G-E...

actually, mas happy talaga pag commute kasi you get to feel and be one of the locals there :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 8, 2012 at 9:28 AM

That's true! You get to feel how it's like to be a local commuter.

Ray | En Route said...
February 8, 2012 at 12:26 PM

WOW! The cathedral is huge! And here I was thinking the only best thing to get in Mexico were totopos :D

Great trivia about the place. When you think about it, the Christians were the largest conquerors and squanderers of the old world. All in the name of faith.

This blog is great :) We've always dreamed of travelling to different places and here you are living it :D How do you do it?

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 8, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Heaps and heaps of hard work. And a bit of luck ;D

Relentless Karla said...
February 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM

My goodness. That Cathedral is MASSIVE! Great pics Gaymie. Thanks for sharing!

pusang kalye said...
February 8, 2012 at 7:07 PM

grabe ang simbahan ng Mexico---GRAND kung GRAND!!!! yan actually ang naiimagine ko lagi at gusto ko makita sa SOUTH?LATIN America just in case dream come true in the future na makagala dyan--ang mga simbahan.Na mapa-malaki ma o maliit eh kagaganda!

Rizalenio said...
February 8, 2012 at 9:04 PM

OMG! Sobrang ganda. Parang isang dambuhalang treasure. :)

Marcos said...
February 9, 2012 at 4:45 AM

Wow. Now that church is BIG. From the photo it looks two already huge churches meshed into one mega church. haha.
And the details too OO,

Makati Apartments said...
February 9, 2012 at 11:39 AM

That was a beautiful tourist spot ..the church its looks like expensive .

The Nomadic Pinoy said...
February 12, 2012 at 7:07 AM

Confession - we never made it inside the cathedral just as you mentioned not setting foot at the Templo Mayor. Does this call for another visit?

AudreyRose said...
February 13, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Wow! sobrang ganda!! I love the intricate design of the church. :D Thanks for sharing this

Tin | The Average Jane said...
July 31, 2012 at 8:25 AM

It's a beautiful church but I still wish the colonizers didn't have to wreak the older structure. Sayang ang history! =(

Sort of reminds me of what the Manila government is doing nowadays, wreaking old structures to make way for mnewer ones. Don't they realize that they're destroying our capital's heritage? =(

hellvicky said...
August 31, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Hi, I'm Mexican and I live in Manila.

You just take my heart and remind me my city. The strange thing is, sometimes I feel Manila very familiar. And no wonder why, in the past we were the same colony. Thru galleon we was connected closely.

Check this video in YouTube, it's call "de muertos en Manila"

Definitely there is a lot to see in Mexico, also is a big country. Even in Mexico city you can take 1 or 2 weeks to visit every nice place.

If you are thinking to visit again, contact me. I can help a little with the food variety and places to go.

It's really nice blog. Blessings.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 1, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Would really love to see Mexico again! Thanks for your help. Will give you a buzz when we revisit :)

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...