Famous Religious Edifices Walk in Mexico City (Self Guided), Mexico City

Mexico City is considered a great vacation destination, featuring something interesting and entertaining for everyone. The landmarks here are amazing and the architecture is impressive and unique. Every religious building in this city is a part not only of Mexican religion but also of Mexican culture and life. Take this walking tour to discover some of the most famous churches in Mexico City.
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Famous Religious Edifices Walk in Mexico City Map

Guide Name: Famous Religious Edifices Walk in Mexico City
Guide Location: Mexico » Mexico City (See other walking tours in Mexico City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: doris
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • La Santísima Trinidad Church
  • Sagrario Metropolitano
  • Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Iglesia de San Francisco
  • Iglesia de la Santa Veracruz
  • Iglesia de San Juan de Dios
  • Iglesia de San Hipolito
La Santísima Trinidad Church

1) La Santísima Trinidad Church

Established in 1785, as the place of worship for an adjoining hospital, this building and parts of the hospital were declared a National Monument in 1931. The church is located in La Santisima Street, at the corner of Emiliano Zapata Street in the Historic Center of Mexico City.

The Santisima Trinidad church stands at the location of a small hermitage sponsored by a tailors guild affiliated to the Trinitarians in 1526. The guild joined another order called the brotherhood of St. Peter and formed a new organization called the Confraternity of the most Holy Trinity. The new order decided to establish a hospital for old and infirm priests. A new church was built at the location in 1755 and consecrated in 1783. Over the years the structure suffered damage because of the instability of the soil beneath and flooding. Reinforcements were periodically installed to stabilize the sinking building. The original church structure remains, but only a small part of the original hospital has survived.

The architectural style of the building shows influences of several well known Mexican architects of the time. The dome has Maltese crosses that symbolize the Trinitarian origins of the church. Another tribute paid to the Trinitarian brotherhood consisting of a guild formed by tailors is a relief portraying the Holy Trinity with God the Father dressed like the Pope.

Visitors are allowed to marvel at this splendid example of Spanish and indigenous architectural design every day between 9 am and 7 pm.
Sagrario Metropolitano

2) Sagrario Metropolitano

The Sagrario Metropolitan stands next to the larger Metropolitan Cathedral flanking the Zocalo in Mexico City. The church is one of the most visited in the city because it is considered a masterpiece of Churrigueresque Baroque architecture in Latin America. The building has been declared a UNESCO landmark.

The Sagrario Metropolitan is located on the east side of the Metropolitan Cathedral and was built in the 18th century to keep the archives and vestments of the archbishop. Today it has become the main parish church of Mexico City. The building was designed by architect Lorenzo Rodriguez and consecrated in 1768. Its facade has geometric designs in the form of pilasters. The altarpiece pattern in the facade has a unique resemblance to the design of the main altarpiece inside the church. The exterior and interior altarpieces also resemble the Kings Altar located inside the neighboring cathedral. The high altar was crafted by Pedro Patino Ixtolinque, an indigenous student of Manuel Tolsa, the well known sculptor and architect. It has 12 stained glass windows in the neoclassical architectural style. The altar is not made of wood or gold like those in other churches, but of stone surrounded by Tenzontle walls, which is the distinguishing feature of this church.

The Sagrario Metrolpolitan stands on a drained lake and its foundations are slowly sinking because of the instability of the soil beneath. Efforts are underway to stabilize the building and other nearby structures.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Metropolitan Cathedral

3) Metropolitan Cathedral (must see)

Dominating the Zocalo in Mexico City, the Catedral Metropolitana is the oldest and largest cathedral in Latin America. The church is also called the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary of Mexico City. Over the centuries the cathedral’s foundations have sunk into the soft soil beneath and, as a result, the cathedral and the nearby chapel did not have a level floor. The efforts of Mexico City’s administration led to its extensive reconstruction and by the year 2000, the structure was removed from the World Monuments Fund’s list of the 100 most endangered sites.

Catedral Metropolitana was built over the location of the destroyed Aztec palace of Moctezuma. The material used during its construction was from the destroyed palace. The design of the cathedral has several architectural styles including baroque, neoclassic and Churrigueresque. Spanish architect Claudio de Arciniega drew up the initial plans for the structure. The foundations of the building were laid in 1567 and completed in 1788.

The church is filled with paintings, altarpieces and colored statues by well known Mexican artists and sculptors. The cathedral has two bell towers with 25 bells and two of the largest 18th-century organs in the Americas. A sound and light show, with a focus on choral music, takes visitors on a candlelit walking tour around the cathedral.

It's a functioning cathedral so be mindful of that, and try to avoid mass.
If you'd like to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime view of El Zócalo and the Cathedral, whether its an early breakfast or a late dinner (the latter allows you to dine when the square is beautifully lit up), have a fairly-priced meal on the balcony of a restaurant called "Balcon del Zocalo", located near the Cathedral on the 6th floor of the Zocalo Central Hotel. Eating a nice meal while looking at the National Cathedral from this perspective is an incredible sight to see!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-8pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Iglesia de San Francisco

4) Iglesia de San Francisco

The Iglesia de San Francisco Javier, built by the Society of Jesus, is the finest example of Churrigueresque Baroque architecture in Mexico. The church forms part of the Museo Nacional del Virreinato in Plaza Hidalgo, Tepotzotian, Mexico City.

The facade of the church has the florid and ornate detailing that typifies the Churrigueresque Baroque design. The interiors are filled with intricately carved gold and wooden figures of saints and cherubs. The center of the church has five large gilded cedar wood Retablos or paintings that stretch from floor to the ceiling. The amber stained glass windows accentuate the gold on the Retablos. The paintings on the main altar are those of renowned artist Miguel Cabrera who is also known as the Michelangelo of Mexico. The octagonal Camerin de la Virgen, full of carvings by native artists is regarded as the best example of Mexican Baroque. An angled mirror in the room enables visitors to appreciate the intricacies of the carved figures. Another artistic treasure found in the church is the Christo de Arbol or Christ of the Tree, carved from a single piece of wood.

The church is open for public viewing from Tuesday to Sunday and visitors can stroll around the Claustro de Naranjos, a patio with orange trees, after being overwhelmed by the splendid art and architecture of the Iglesia de San Francisco Javier.
Iglesia de la Santa Veracruz

5) Iglesia de la Santa Veracruz

Considered the most important church in the city, the Iglesia de Santa Veracruz, constructed of volcanic stone and grey sandstone, stands on a square with the same name. The church was first built by Hernan Cortes in gratitude for his successful arrival in America in 1519.

Hernan Cortes established a brotherhood called the Archicofradia de la Santa Veracuz consisted, at first, of conquistadors and, later, of the Spanish aristocracy. The Iglesia de Santa Veracruz is the church built by the brotherhood. The original building required reconstruction because of earthquakes, unstable soil and constant flooding; the present church was built in 1739. The structure has richly decorated Mexican baroque Churrigueresque portals. The north of the church has two chapels, one dedicated to the Lord of Health and the other to the Lord of the Holy Burial. The altarpiece is said to contain a splinter from the original cross carried by the Lord Jesus.

Visitors will be interested in the paintings by Miguel Cabrera, the well known indigenous Zapotec painter, and the tomb containing the remains of architect and sculptor Manuel Tolsa who died in 1816. Manuel Tolsa was the creator of many important buildings in Mexico. The church is open to visitors throughout the week from 9am to 7pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Iglesia de San Juan de Dios

6) Iglesia de San Juan de Dios

The Iglesia de San Juan de Dios served as a hospital, church and monastery for 400 years before housing the vast collection of artifacts belonging to the German stockbroker Franz Mayer. It is now called the Franz Mayer museum and is located in Avenida Hidalgo, Mexico City, on the western side of Plaza de Santa Veracruz.

The building is a historic structure in Mexico City and was first constructed for a flour mill. Later Dr. Pedro Lopez, the first Mexican medical graduate, converted it into a hospital. At first the hospital was run by Dr. Lopez, then the Dominican order and finally by the Brothers Hospitalliers of St. John of God. The Brothers Hospitalliers of St. John of God served the people from 1604 and constructed the present church complex in 1620. In the 1980s, the Public Works Ministry granted permission to the Bank of Mexico, who held the trusteeship of the collection of art and objects of Franz Mayer, to convert the building into a museum. The institution was opened in 1986.

The collections displayed at the museum include traditional Mexican silver artifacts, books, pottery, watches, gadgetry, objects of art and antique furnishings. There is a public library in the upper cloister with over 10,000 books. The museum is open for visitors Tuesdays through Sundays and is free for public viewing on Tuesdays.
Iglesia de San Hipolito

7) Iglesia de San Hipolito

The San Hipolito Church stands near the northwest corner of the Alameda in Avenida Hidalgo, Mexico City. The church was built to commemorate the conquest of Tenochtitlan by the Spanish.

On the 13th of August 1521, San Hipolito’s Day in the Christian Calendar, the Spanish overcame the Aztecs at the spot where the Church was built. The Spanish suffered heavy casualties and the chapel was built as a monument for those killed in the battle. The church was dedicated to San Hipolito who also became the patron saint of Mexico city.

The building was completed in 1739 and has a Baroque architectural style with Moorish interiors. The two towers located in front of the church have a unique 45 degree angle. The main bell tower has a Moorish design. The floor plan of the building is a Latin cross with the central dome rising at the crossing point. The church was built with uncoated Tezontle volcanic rock.

The building is also called the church of St. Jude. Locals worship the image of St. Jude Thaddeus located within the church for help with financial and employment related problems. Special masses are held on the 28th of every month in his honor and the main festival of San Judas Tadeo is celebrated on the 28th of October.

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