Construction on the largest and one of the oldest Latin American cathedrals began in the late 16th century and continued intermittently throughout the next three centuries. The result is a medley of baroque and neoclassical touches. There are five altars and 14 chapels, mostly in the ornate churrigueresque style, named for Spanish architect José Benito Churriguera (died 1725). Like most Mexican churches, the cathedral is all but overwhelmed by innumerable paintings, altarpieces,
and statues—in graphic color—of Christ and the saints. Over the centuries, this cathedral began to sink into the spongy subsoil, but a major engineering project to stabilize it was declared successful in 2000. The older-looking church attached to the cathedral is the 18th-century Sagrario chapel. For a small donation, tours of some of the bell towers (via an attractive, if a little tiring, staircase) are available Monday through Saturday. Inquire at the main entrance.
Zócalo, Mexico City, 06000, Mexico