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Mazatlan’s Beautiful Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception


For Mexico’s deeply religious and mostly Roman Catholic populace, life revolves around faith. In towns of any significant size, a church anchors one end of a square located in the center of the city. Whether large or small, these churches are always elaborately decorated and worth a visit. In Mazatlan, Mexico, this is even more true, since its 19th century Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is a splendid combination of Moorish and Gothic architecture.

Outside, large white sculptures of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John stand at each of the four corner entrances. Looming over the apostles, the cathedral’s twin towers and their outer cupola are covered by yellow tiles of European manufacture. Although beautiful during the day, the cathedral is absolutely stunning by night, when its yellow facade is accented with spotlights and the crosses that adorn the top of its towers are lit up in neon.

Inside, the cathedral is furnished with an astonishing collection of baroque altars, gold leaf decorated murals, crystal chandeliers, religious sculptures, and an organ specially built in Paris. It is also the world’s only Roman Catholic Church with the Star of David displayed in each of its 28 stained-glass windows.

Mazatlan’s cathedral faces Plazuela Republica, a broad lushly planted plaza with a gazebo at its center, where residents gather nightly to listen to live entertainment, have their shoes shined, or enjoy ice cream cones sold by vendors who set up nightly around the square.