Cathedral of la Asunción de María, 16th to 19th Century, Mexico City, Distrito Federal
The diocese of Mexico was established in 1530. The original cathedral, whose construction started around 1524, was demolished in 1624 in favor of the present building.
The construction of this second Cathedral was supervised by a multitude of master architects over a span of more than two centuries. The cornerstone was laid in 1573, but the finishing touches that unified its facade were not complete until shortly before Independence in the early 19th century.
The Cathedral started with a severe Renaissance style reminiscent of the Escorial in Spain; later its lines were softened by Baroque ornamentation; and finally Don Manuel Tolsá topped the building with Neo-Classical elegance.
The interior of the church is a basilica with a barrel-vaulted nave and lower side aisles vaulted with saucer domes. The aisles are lit by lunettes pierced with triple windows; triple clerestory windows in the nave echo the windows of the aisles. The cupola over the crossing adds to the light with the windows of the drum and lantern.
The most influential churrigueresque retablo in Mexico, the Altar de los Reyes, stands at the Cathedral\'s north end.