Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Cathedral of Mexico City, La Catedral de la Ciudad de Mexico and Las Voces de la Catedral

The Cathedral of Mexico City was built on top of the some of the minor pyramids beside the Templo Mayor, or Major Temple of the Aztecs, that we mentioned last week when we wrote a post on the Basilica de La Virgen de los Remedios or Basilica of Our Lady of Good Remedy.
The eastern belfry of the Cathedral illuminated after dark.
El Templo Mayor was the apex of the Religious and Cultural life of the Aztecs. With the downfall of the great Tenotichlan, a huge vacuum has been created, and Cortes and the Franciscan Missionaries realized that they had to fill this gap with the Christian concept of God and religion.
El Altar del Perdón or Altar of Pardon, at the entrance of the Cathedral
The building of this Cathedral as we see it today, began almost 50 years after the conquest, in the second half of the XVI century, and took approximately 250 years for its completion, in the year 1813, with the final touches being executed as we stated in an earlier post this week concerning the Church of the True Holy Cross, by Manuel Tolsá.
Chorus of the Cathedral and its wrought iron gate made in the Philippian Islands.   
To give an adequate introduction to the Cathedral might take me another 250 years. But instead of trying to accomplish the impossible task of giving you the full view of the Cathedral in one post, what I will try to do is to tell you about a theatrical program, sponsored by the Cathedral, called Voces de la Catedral of Voices of the Cathedral, where they gave us an overview of the highlights of the Cathedral, with actors dressed in costumes typical of the XVIII century, and using the Cathedral after dark, as the background and stage for the performance.

The vaulted ceiling of the main aisle of the Cathedral
The Cathedral has a somber but majestic aspect in the light of day, but after dark, both outside the Cathedral and particularly inside, it seems to adopt spectral and almost a mystical charm. We went to see the a performance during the Third Season of Voces de la Catedral as part of a series of programs commemorating back in 2013, the 200th anniversary of the completion of the Cathedral.

The Chorus of the Cathedral
A view inside the sacristy and its collection of paintings.
Another angle of the view inside the sacristy as the young ladies dressed in
epoch costumes of the late XVIII century.

One of the main mural paintings of the Sacristy of the Cathedral

The Altar of the Kings of the Cathedral
The main altar of the Cathedral is titled the Altar of the Kings. Other cathedrals in Spain also have similar altars, likewise dedicated to the holiest monarchs in the history of Christian Europe.

An actor impersonates Manuel Tolsá during the performance, and makes us laugh as he
portrays a typical gifted but very self-centered and conceited architect and sculptor.

Manuel Tolsá boasts about his achievements during this pantomime.

A poster announcing the Third Season of the program Voces de la Catedral.

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