Tourist Attraction in Mexico City: Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe
The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe) is a Catholic sanctuary, located on the Tepeyac mountain in Mexico City, built to commemorate the alleged apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe. It is the main place of Catholic worship in Mexico and throughout Latin America: every year it is visited by several million pilgrims, on December 12, the day when the Virgin is celebrated, the complex is made up of various churches and buildings. Also known as the New Basilica of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, it is the main temple of the sanctuary. This basilica dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe was designed by the Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and inaugurated on October 12, 1976. It was built to replace the ancient basilica that due to the weight was sinking together with the ground. Also known as the Ancient Basilica, this church was built in the seventeenth century with the aim of becoming a basilica for the veneration of the Virgin of Guadalupe, in 1749 it received the title of collegiate. In 1904 it was elevated to the rank of basilica. In the middle of the twentieth century the building suffered from a great deterioration that forced the closure and construction of a larger and more modern temple. In 1979, the INAH and the Mexican Episcopal Conference began a restoration project to avoid the loss of the building. This project, like the one for the recovery of the Cathedral of Mexico City and the recovery of the Tower of Pisa, consists in avoiding the collapse of the building. Although the project is not yet finished, the main stage ended in 2000 with the cost of several million dollars. The Tempio del Pocito is a church located near the Tepeyac mountain. A few years after the apparitions of the Virgin began pilgrimages to the mountain and many people thought that the waters of the nearby well were miraculous. So many sick people started to get washed in the water, but this caused many epidemics. To control the epidemics, direct access to the well was prevented and a simple temple was built, but the pilgrimages continued. A few years later the decision was made to build a baroque church on this site, which was completed in 1791. In 1815 the revolutionary José María Morelos y Pavón was allowed to go and pray to the Virgin before being killed. The painter Fernando Leal executed between 1945 and 1950 an important cycle of frescoes dedicated to the Miracles of the Virgin. The former convent and parish of Santa Maria di Guadalupe of the Capuchins is a church located on the eastern side of the Ancient Basilica. It was designed by architect Ignacio Costera and was built in 1887.