sights / Religious

Cathedral information

Guadalajara , Mexico
Av 16 de Septiembre btwn Morelos & Av Hidalgo
Opening hours
8am-8pm, closed during Mass
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Guadalajara’s twin-towered cathedral is the city’s most beloved and conspicuous landmark. Begun in 1558 and consecrated in 1618, it’s almost as old as the city itself. And it’s magnificent. Time it right and you’ll see light filter through stained glass renderings of the Last Supper and hear a working pipe organ rumble sweetly from the rafters.

The interior includes Gothic vaults, massive Tuscan-style gold-leaf pillars and 11 richly decorated altars that were given to Guadalajara by King Fernando VII of Spain (1814–33). The glass case nearest the north entrance is an extremely popular reliquary, containing the hands and blood of the martyred Santa Inocencia. In the sacristy, which an attendant can open for you on request, is La Asunción de la Virgen, painted by Spanish artist Bartolomé Murillo in 1650. Of course, architectural purists may find flaws. Much like the Palacio de Gobierno, the cathedral is a bit of a stylistic hodgepodge including Churrigueresque, baroque and neoclassical influences. And the towers, reconstructed in 1848, are much higher than the originals, which were destroyed in the 1818 earthquake.