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La Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe - Historical Building Mexico City - Mexico

The approach to the shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a wild mass of pilgrims, salesmen hawking Virgin souvenirs, tourists, and the ubiquitous traffic that characterizes every part of the metropolis. Fight through the crowds, though, and you'll be amply rewarded. From peaceful gardens at the top of the hill, you can see beautiful views of the city. The gardens are central to the Basilica, which is the also the most popular Catholic pilgrimage site in the world after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Mexican site consists of the Baroque Basilica - originally constructed in 1533 but later completely revamped in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries - and, beside it, an enormous modern church which can hold at least 10,000 worshippers. Both buildings stand on a huge square in front of the Hill of Tepeyac, which itself is home to several more beautiful chapels and shrines. The Popemobile of John Paul II was also placed on the hill following his death in 2005.

Pre-conquest, the hill was dedicated to Tonantzin, the Aztec goddess of earth and fertility. The appearance of a native deity on the site of the indigenous shrine (see the article on La Virgin de Guadalupe) gave a huge boost to the church's popularity in Mexico - more than eight million Indians were converted to Christianity in the seven years following the miracle. Juan Diego, the indigenous man to whom the Virgin miraculously appeared, was canonized in 2002 and is the first indigenous American saint.

Behind the Basilica is the Museo de la Basilica de Guadalupe (Tues-Sun, 10 a.m-6 p.m, $0.50), which has some interesting, antique religious art. You may find that the most remarkable part of a visit here is being able to see hundreds (and on Sundays, and special days like the Virgin's feast day on December 12, thousands) of pilgrims who come to pay their respects, many approaching the last few kilometers on their knees to prove their devotion.

The Basilica is open daily, 6 a.m-9 p.m.

 

 

Location:
Mexico City, Mexico

Historical Building Types:
Site of historic significance, Churches and religious buildings, Spiritual/Religious

Getting There
Take the Metro to La Villa Basilica, then walk north two blocks along Calzada de Guadalupe. To go by bus, take a pesero on Paseo de La Reforma going north east that says “M La Villa”.



Here are other activities in and around Mexico City that may be of interest: La Casa de la Primera Imprenta, Palacio del Ayuntamiento, Jesus Nazareno Church and Hospital, Palacio de Iturbide, Colegio de San Ildefonso, La Casa de los Azulejos, Catedral Metropolitana , Palacio de Bellas Artes, Palacio Nacional and Estadio Olimpico.








09 Jan 2009




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