Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Turismo Production car number 32 driven by our good friends Gustavo Robles J. and Gustovo Robles as it passes the magnificent Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral.

It's interesting to note that this location if considered kilometer marker zero for all roads in Mexico.

When Cortes and his Spanish missionaries converted the Aztec in the 16th century, they tore down their temples and used much of the stone to construct a church on the site. Nearly all of the stone from the nearby Templo Mayor was built into the cathedral.

The original Spanish church was torn down in 1628 while the present Metropolitan Cathedral was under construction. The towering cathedral that stands today, begun in 1567 and finished in 1788, is a blend of baroque, neoclassic, and Mexican churrigueresque architecture.

Over the centuries, the cathedral and the Sagrario (chapel) next to it have sunk into the soft lake bottom beneath. The base of the facade is far from level and straight, and when one considers theimmense weight of the towers —127,000 tons — it's no surprise. However, much to the credit of Mexico City and its preservation efforts, the Catedral Metropolitana came off the World Monuments Fund's list of 100 Most Endangered Sites in 2000, as a result of an extensive reconstruction of the building's foundation.

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