Basílica de Zapopan

Top choice in Guadalajara

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - October 10: General View of the Basilica de Zapopan in Guadalajara, venue of the Panamerican Games  2011, October 10, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Mario Castillo/LatinContent/Getty Images)

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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 early evening, when streams of pilgrims, nuns and monks fill the pews, is a magical time to be here.

During the rest of the year, the basílica is lit up on Friday and Saturday evenings at 9pm with a 'video mapping' show – a gorgeous 3D light and sound display projected onto the facade of the church, sharing the history of Zapopan and the edifice itself. It draws crowds of locals and travelers alike (plus loads of street food vendors).