Bastions of Catholic worship

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Mexico's evangelization as the pillar of a new social order. After que military conquest over the Aztec empire the conquest of the souls started. Hernan Cortes himself ordered a church to be built honoring  Santiago (St. James), patron saint of the re-conquest of Spain, on top of the pre-hispanic temple located in today´s Plaza de las Tres Culturas. And a vast army dressed in monks' habit, armed with crucifixes took on the monumental task of converting indigenous peoples to christianity.

Franciscans, Agustinians, Carmelites, Jesuists, Dominicans. Each order brought their own interpretation of faith. Franciscans were the first to arrive and built austere fortresses of great beauty at the center, in Iztacalco, in Tlalpan, in Coyoacán and in Xochimilco, where the Niñopan tradition is alive. In San Andrés Mixquic, the old Agustinian temple is today the scenery of one of the most magical Night of the Dead celebrations in the city. The Agustinians adorned their convents with fine murals, like Culhuacán. The Carmelites also settled in the center and built the gorgeous nature retreat of the former convent of the Desierto de los Leones. At La Profesa, built by the Jesuists, an extraordinary painting gallery from the viceroy period. Likewise, the altarpieces of the Regina Coeli temple, built by the Conception nuns, are most interesting. 

The churches of the new faith were built over the ruins of the old Aztec temples. That´s the case of the  Cathedral, built on top of the former Templo Mayor. Shrines devoted to mother deities continue to be sacred places, devoted to Mary now, as is the case of the Guadalupe Basilica

As in Guadalupe, the Santa María de la Visitación church in Tetepan, near Xochimilco, was also constructed over a shrine to Tonantzin.

Hernan Cortes founded the Vera Cruz order. Famous architect Manuel Tolsá is buried at the Santa Veracruz church -re-built during the Baroque period. Next, the Hospital order's church of San Juan de Dios

Some temples are home to some images very popular among the faithful. Such is the case of the Divino Salvador del Calvario church and San Hipólito church, where every 28th of every month thousands of faithful congregate to worship St. Jude. It is also quite interesting to stop by the temple at the magnificent San Fernando cemetery.

Download the free app developed by Mexico City for religious tourism (Android / iOS).

At Mecico City's YouTube channel  you can find videos featuring some of the most emblematic temples of the city.

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Plaza de las Tres Culturas s/n, Col. Nonoalco Tlatelolco. 06900

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