Puebla's cathedral, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, is a treasure of colonial art. Designed by Francisco Becerra, the first stage of construction took place between 1575 and 1618. The initial plans included four corner towers like the cathedral of Valladolid, Spain. The bases of the towers were built and stand as testimony to the lofty plans. The second phase of construction was under the direction of Bishop Juan de Palafox y Mendoza who consecrated the cathedral on April 18, 1649. The main facade, in the sober mannerist style, is made of dark grey quarrystone and was completed in 1664.
Highlights of Puebla's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception:
- The towers are over 200 feet (70 m) high, the tallest in Mexico.
- The main altar was designed by Manuel Tolsa and built between 1797 and 1819.
- The choir is an exquisite example of Mudejar (Moorish) artwork with inlaid wood in eight different colors.
Next stop on the walking tour: Santo Domingo Church with its ornate Rosary Chapel.
Directions: From the cathedral, walk north along 5 de Mayo to the corner of 4 Poniente. The Santo Domingo church is on the northeast corner.