The Metropolitan Cathedral

later additions and revisions in the 18th century by sculptor and architect Manuel Tolsá
dedicated 1667; work on exterior continued into the 19th century





The front facade with attached parish church to the right

Built over several centuries the metropolitan cathedral is a mixture of styles--both Baroque and Neoclassical. Like Spanish cathedrals, it features a cross plan.
 

The mixture of styles

Much of the lower portion seems Baroque (twisted columns, elaborate volutes, extensive decoration) while the upper portions are more restrained, especially evident in the square bell towers. The bell towers are 62 meters high with pinnacles in the shape of bells. Today they have 34 bells.
 

Entrance facade--top

At the top are free-standing statues of the three theological virtues, faith (left figure), hope (top figure with the cross), and charity (right figure with the children), sculpted by Manuel Tolsá in 1813; below the clock is the national seal of Mexico; the relief below the seal depicts the Assumption of the Virgin Mary with sculptures of St. James the Greater (left) and Saint Andrew (right) sculpted by Miguel Ximénez in 1687.
 

Left: Sagrario metropolitano (the parish church)--from the front; center and right--side entrance

This parish church is annexed to the cathedral. It was constructed from about 1749-1768.


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© 2004 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.

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