Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

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The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven (Spanish: Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de la Santísima Virgen María a los cielos) is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico. It is situated atop the former Aztec sacred precinct near the Templo Mayor on the northern side of the Plaza de la Constitución (Zócalo) in the historic center of Mexico City. The cathedral was built in sections from 1573 to 1813 around the original church that was constructed soon after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan, eventually replacing it entirely. Spanish architect Claudio de Arciniega planned the construction, drawing inspiration from Gothic cathedrals in Spain.

Due to the long time it took to build it, just under 250 years, virtually all the main architects, painters, sculptors, gilding masters and other plastic artists of the viceroyalty worked at some point in the construction of the enclosure. The long construction time also led to the integration of a number of architectural styles in its design, including the Gothic, Baroque, Churrigueresque, Neoclassical styles, as they came into vogue over the centuries. It furthermore allowed the cathedral to include different ornaments, paintings, sculptures and furniture in its interior. The project was a point of social cohesion, because it involved so many generations and social classes, including ecclesiastical authorities, government authorities, and different religious orders.

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