Mazatlan Cathedral

The Mazatlan Cathedral is unique for a country in which ornate churches and cathedrals grace the squares of even small villages. While most churches and cathedrals in Mexico are decidedly Spanish colonial in style, the structure of the lovely Catedral Basilica de Mazatlan boasts a splendid combination of Gothic and Moorish architecture. It also boasts a Star of David in 28 of its stained glass windows, a very unusual feature for a Roman Catholic house of worship. The reason for these symbols is gratitude for the donation of construction funds by a wealthy Jewish family of the city. Construction was begun in 1856 and was completed in 1899; in 1938 the church was dedicated as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Mazatlan Cathedral Exterior
Mazatlan Cathedral Exterior

The church faces the Plazuela Republica, which is a central gathering place and shopping area in the heart of the Centro Historico. It presents an imposing sight from the outside, with monumental twin towers and a graceful cupola all covered with yellow tiles from Europe. At night the sight is stunning, with spotlights accenting the yellow-gold color and neon lit crosses atop the towers. The greatest beauty of the Mazatlan Cathedral will be found in its interior. Light filtering in through the stained glass windows creates beautiful colors, especially as it is reflected off the ornate gold leaf baroque altars, delicate statues, crystal chandeliers, and nineteenth-century murals and frescoes.

Mazatlan Cathedral Interior
Mazatlan Cathedral Interior

The jewel of the Catedral Basilica de Mazatlan is its majestic organ, built in Paris by Frenchman Aristide Cavaille-Coll who died in 1899 and is considered one of the greatest organ builders of the nineteenth century. While this magnificent church is open to visitors of all faiths, it is asked that you dress respectfully—no skimpy halter tops and shorts. You can visit the cathedral and the lovely Angela Peralta Theater in the same morning or afternoon, as they are within a short walk from each other.

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