World’s Top-Visited Tourist Attractions in Mexico City…Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe; Mexico City has many attractions but the World’s Top-Visited Tourist Attractions in Mexico City is Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and one of the most-visited Catholic shrines in the world.
The Basilica of Guadalupe is Mexico’s utmost religious center; the Annual Visitors according to Mexico Tourism Board is 20,000 persons. You can also get inspired with other locations using some of our past articles World’s Top-Visited Tourist Attractions – Grand Bazaar, Istanbul turkey and Petra The World Top Attraction UNESCO World Heritage Sites to help get you started planning your next holiday to discover other top attraction.
The Virgin of Guadalupe:
Our Lady of Guadalupe which is known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is a symbol of faith for both Mexican Catholics and non-Catholics. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe houses the original image of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the 16th Century and is intended to hold 50,000 people, who come for mass celebrated several times a day. The virgin, who has strong associations with indigenous culture in Mexico said to have appeared on an apron to campesino an indigenous man named Juan Diego on Dec. 9, 1531 on Tepeyac hill outside Mexico City. This Tepeyac hill was pre-Hispanic era the Aztec goddess of maternity, Tonantzin, was worshiped. She asked him to speak to the bishop to build a temple for her on that hill in that place in her honor. The bishop didn’t believe Juan Diego and required a sign as proof. Juan Diego returned to the hill on December 12, to see the Virgin, she told him to pick some roses to the bishop and carry them in his tilma ((mantle, cloak). Those flowers had been a sign of an otherworldly feat because there was none of on that hill during that season. When he reached the bishop, he extended his robe showing all the flowers. While doing so his robe appeared the Virgin’s image imprinted on the garment. She is depicted with brown skin, an angel and moon at her feet and rays of sunlight that encircle her. Juan Diego’s tilma with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is considered a miracle and it had safeguarded and exhibited in the Basilica of Guadalupe. It is believed that no person could have created it due to its nature and technique.
The Old Basilica:
The present church that stands in stark contrast looks like a sports arena, was constructed on the site of an earlier 16th-century church that was built between 1695 and 1709, the Old Basilica. When this basilica became dangerous due to the sinking of its foundations and huge amount of visitors, a modern structure called the New Basilica was built by the Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez next to it .
The “New” Basilica de Guadalupe:
On October 12, 1976 this was consecrated, the new basilica was designed by Pedro Ramirez Vasquez in front of the old basilica. The new Basilica has a circular floor plan that follows the architecture responds to its main function: so that the image of the Virgin can be seen from any spot inside the building. For this reason the circular structure base made with 100 meters in diameter and can accommodate up to 50,000 people who come from all over the world so that they could participate in the liturgical celebrations of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe) beside the main concept of universality of God. The style of construction was inspired from 17th Century churches in Mexico.
The Basilica is open daily from 6 am to 9 pm; the confessions are heard every day of the year in the Basilica, continuously from 6AM to 6PM. The museum is open daily except Mondays from 10 am to 6 pm. The Basilica is located in Mexico City, in the northern neighborhood in an area called Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo.