Guadalajara Cathedral.

© Elijah-Lovkoff/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Catedral de Guadalajara

Top choice in Guadalajara

Guadalajara’s cathedral is the city’s most conspicuous landmark with distinctive neo-Gothic towers built after an earthquake toppled the originals in 1818. Begun in 1561 and consecrated in 1618, the building is almost as old as the city itself. Time your visit right and you’ll see light filter through stained-glass of the Last Supper above the altar and hear a working pipe organ rumble sweetly from the rafters.

The interior includes a Gothic crypt, where three archbishops are buried, plus massive Tuscan-style gold-leaf pillars and 11 richly decorated side altars that were bequeathed to the city by King Fernando VII of Spain (1784–1833). The 18th-century glass case nearest the west entrance is an extremely popular reliquary, containing the waxed remains 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. Much like the city's Palacio de Gobierno, the cathedral is a bit of a stylistic hodgepodge, including baroque, Churrigueresque (late Spanish baroque) and neoclassical influences.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Guadalajara attractions

1. Cathedral Crypt

The cathedral in Guadalajara includes a Gothic crypt, where three archbishops are buried.

2. Museo de Arte Sacro de Guadalajara

0.03 MILES

This pious collection astride the eastern flank of the cathedral is filled with dark and brooding 17th- to 18th-century religious art, as well as some…

3. Plaza Guadalajara

0.04 MILES

Plaza Guadalajara is shaded by dozens of severly cropped laurel trees and has great views of the east of the cathedral. Boasting a few fine cafes, it's a…

4. Palacio Municipal

0.06 MILES

On the north side of Plaza Guadalajara is the Palacio Municipal, which was built between 1949 and 1952 but looks much older. Above its interior stairway…

5. Rotonda de los Jaliscenses Ilustres

0.06 MILES

Jalisco’s hall of fame, in the plaza on the north side of the cathedral, is ringed by 30 bronze sculptures of the state’s favorite writers, architects and…

6. Museo Regional de Guadalajara

0.06 MILES

Guadalajara's most important museum tells the story of the city and the surrounding region, somewhat haphazardly, from prehistory to the revolution…

7. Palacio de Gobierno

0.07 MILES

The golden-hued Palacio de Gobierno, which houses the Jalisco state government offices, was finished in 1774 and is well worth visiting to see two…

8. Plaza de la Liberación

0.08 MILES

This huge plaza due east of the cathedral was a 1980s urban planner’s dream project – two whole blocks of colonial buildings to be knocked down and…