Monday, April 27, 2015

La Santa Veracruz, The True Holy Cross, and its Virgin of Guadalupe chapel

Mounted "charro"-style police in front of La Santa Veracruz church
A few days ago, when we were telling you the story about The Virgin of Good Remedy, and how, after the end of the War of Independence from Spain, she was brought out of the Cathedral of Mexico City, and they took her to Church of the Santa Veracruz, where a procession was organized to take her back to Basilica in Naucalpan, where she remains up until this day and age. So today we will talk about this Church of the True Holy Church, one of the oldest in Mexico.

Main wooden doorway of the Church.

In the previous post I mentioned the Chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe, part of the Church of the Veracruz, where a relic of the true Holy Cross, a gift from Carlos V to Hernan Cortes.
Basptismal chapel of the Santa Veracruz Church

This church is where Manuel Tolsa, the Spanish architect that introduced Neoclassic Style in architecture to Mexico City at the end of the XVIIIth century, helping to finish the Cathedral of Mexico City and the Palacio de Mineria, is buried. He was first and foremost a sculpturor, as the plaque on the side of the church (see below) testifies.

Side entrade of the Santa Veracruz Church
Notice small plaque to the right.
This is the plaque to the right of the Church entrance
It states that Manuel Tolsá, architect and sculptor,
is buried here.

He cast the bronze bust of Hernan Cortes that appears in a photo in our post a few days ago on the Hospital de Jesús. But most Mexico City residents are familiar with his magnificent bronze equestrian statue of Spanish Monarch Carlos IV, that they call the caballito. However, you can see his beautiful Our Mother of Sorrows Statue in the side altar, at the nearby church of the Profesa. Who was the mysterious model that inspired Manuel Tolsa for that statue, the same woman who Alexander Humbolt fell in love will have to read another post to find out. Another mystery why is Tolsa buried here? The churchyard of the Church of the Santa Veracruz, was the place where for the most part common criminals were buried.

The Chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe
A more detailed view of the gold-leaf  wooden retablo of the Altar of the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Church of the Santa Veracruz
The altar of the Holy Cross and its relic chamber

The life and miracles of Saint Francis Xavier portrayed in a series of paintings by Miguel Cabrera, the XVIII Century Master Painter and Architect of Retablos.


Here we can see the pernicious conditions of the vault of the chapel that is severly cracked at several points and that could fall down at any moment

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