Mexico/Mexico City: Mexico City – Metropolitan Cathedral

The city of Mexico is a separate administrative district of the Mexican Federal system, like the DC in the USA. In the heart of this humongous metropolis stands one of the largest cathedrals in the world – Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City (Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María). It was actually built in top part of the old Aztec temple area, and construction took whopping 250 years to complete, starting in 1525. Made from basalt and grey sandstone blocks, the structure dominates the zocala aka the central square. There are two massive baroque towers with twisting columns around the entrance, facing the square. Interior is beyond lavish and over-the-top – gilded elaborately carved altars (especially the Altar de los Reyes from 1739) dwarf you, priceless painting hang on the walls, chandeliers, domes, furniture, carpets, pulpits, and suffering Jesus sculptures – it’s all here. During the 250 years, virtually all the main architects, painters, sculptors, gilding masters and other artists of the colonial New Spain worked at some point on the construction, this resulting in a total hodgepodge of styles – from baroque to gothic to local churrigueresque to neoclassical and so on.