Basílica de Zapopan

Top choice cathedral in Guadalajara

Image by LatinContent/STR LatinContent

One of the city's most important churches, the Basílica de Zapopan, built in 1730, is home to Nuestra Señora de Zapopan, a petite statue of the Virgin visited by pilgrims year-round. Since 1734 on October 12, thousands of kneeling faithful crawl behind as the statue is carried here from Guadalajara cathedral. The kneeling pilgrims then make the final trek up the basilica’s aisle to pray for favors at the altar.

The Virgin receives a new car each year for the procession, but the engine is never turned on (thus remaining ‘virginal’). Instead, it's hauled by men with ropes.

The early evening, when local families throng the plaza outside and streams of pilgrims, nuns and monks fill the pews, is a magical time to be here.