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Basilica de Guadalupe

Basilica of Guadalupe

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The Basilica de Guadalupe, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is second in importance within the Catholic world to only Rome.

Below is an easy-to-follow listing of the sites of immediate interest to the Basilica, and to the broader complex of buildings. These are collectively knows, to Mexico City residents, as La Villa, or the Villa of Guadalupe.

The Villa of Guadalupe was a respected city in and of itself for many hundreds of years. It surrounds what is today known as the Old Basilica of Guadalupe. This was built by architect Pedro de Arrieta between 1695 and 1709.

This entire area was known to the Mexica people as Tepeyácac. In Pre-Hispanic times, at the Cerro del Tepeyac, a godess named Chalchiuhtlicue, Matlalcueye, and Tonantzin, was worshipped here. The area had a very strong ceremonial and religious purpose prior to the arrival of San Juan Diego.

The Virgin is said to have appeared before Juan Diego on four occasions on the Cerro del Tepeyac. These had taken place ten years after the fall of Tenochtitlan, in 1531. According to tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego in four apparitions and these are the basis for the following of the Virgin of Guadalupe, even today.

The Virgin Mary asked Juan Diego to build a temple here. Legend has it that a small adobe temple was built at the foot of the famous hill and the remnants of that temple can be seen, in part, within the Old Parish Church of the Indians (see below).

In 1563, the name was changed to honor these Marian Sightings. Indigenous, mestizo, Black, and Asian people from the area worked to enlarge the original temple and it continued to gain followers. The heart of the town soon grew into an entire complex of temples and support buildings for the many clergy and lay-people involved with the day-to-day running of the site.

There's a lot to see and a lot to experience in and around the Basilica de Guadalupe. Below are as many of the interesting places and sites as we could come up with. The site is often changing, with new and better information. So please check back as we add more.

Photo this page: Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata on Wikimedia Commons

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