The Angels’ Cathedral in Mexico
Legend of Puebla Cathedral
According to the legend, when the construction of the Cathedral of Puebla, Mexico, was finished in 1649, they still hadn’t placed the main bell on the tower because they had noticed that the one they had originally built was inadequate. Therefore, they destroyed the bell and used its material to build a new one that weighed nine tons. Yet, back then it was almost impossible to carry such a big bell to where they wanted to place it.
One night, the construction’s guard dreamt that angels descended from the heavens and carried the bell up to the tower. The following morning, he realized his dream had been real because the bell was already in place and it rang louder than any other bell in the city.
History of the Cathedral of Puebla
Even though it’s only a legend, the building that inspired it is also extraordinary. Its construction began in 1575, but due to a lack of funding and after several administrative changes took place, the construction works were slow and frequently stopped. Yet, the Grand Master who built the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City made adaptations to the project and thanks to his work and the support given by the bishop Juan de Palafox, the cathedral was finished in 1649. Even if the construction process was slow, that didn’t stop them from building a beautiful cathedral with an impressive architectural design and a huge collection of paintings, historic documents and sculptures. For this reason, on the day it was consecrated they organized festivities like no one had ever seen in what used to be the territory of New Spain!
This cathedral that was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, had the only dome in New Spain built with pumice, which made it very light, and its exterior was covered with polychrome tile, typical of the craftsmanship found in Puebla.
Tips to Visit the Cathedral of Puebla
When you visit it, DINKtravelers challenges you to take a picture with the façade on the background. The building has the tallest cathedral towers in the continent, so it will surely be difficult to capture its immense size.
Later, once inside, give yourself some time to calmly enjoy the Altar of the Kings, with its baroque retable, and the Main Altar, designed by the Valencian sculptor and architect Manuel Tolsá (author of other monuments in Mexico City such as the Mining Palace, parts of the Metropolitan Cathedral and the sculpture of king Charles IV of Spain).
The Cathedral of Puebla is also one of the most relevant colonial art museums in the world and you can see its vast collection on the central nave and in each of its fourteen chapels. Visiting it invites you to travel across a world of colors and shapes that is so complex and rich that it has made it an essential part of the Historic Center of Puebla, considered World Heritage.