Immaculate Conception Cathedral Basilica
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México.
In all ancient cities
of our country, Cathedrals were considered the most important buildings, for
they represent the ecclesiastical power and were a symbol of the social and
economic standing of the community.
The first steps undertaken for the building of this
majestic Cathedral go as far back as 1855,
under Bishop Pedro Loza y Pardavé, and it took several decades
In 1875, thanks to the
efforts and tenacity of Father Michel Lacarra,
construction was accelerated and the main body of the
building was finished at the beginning of 1880.
The construction of this Cathedral was made possible by the copious contribution of the city’s
prominent catholic merchants and
business people. One of the principal
benefactors at this stage was Don Pedro Echeguren y de la Quintana, a native of San
He was one of the
wealthiest men in the region, owner of the rich Guadalupe de los Reyes mines, the Hilados y
Tejidos factory, the water supply company and countless buildings and urban
It is said that his
extreme and unusual kindness was due to his word as a gentleman, given to
Father Lacarra to put an end to his
life of sin (he was living with his concubine, Doña Concepcion Moreno) by getting married
in the Cathedral, once all works came to
Mazatlan from the lighthouse hill
watercolor, ink and pencil José Juan Tablada 1894
awe-inspiring Cathedral was designed and built by the master-mason Don
Estanislao León, who died during the final construction steps.
work was carried out by the master-carpenter Don Santiago León,
and all iron
work by Don Isaac León.
construction of the splendid towers started in 1893;
the first of them was
completed on April 6, 1894 and the
other soon after.
They were designed by the eminent builder Natividad Gonzalez however,
due to strong disagreements with Father Joaquin Garcia, he did not oversee
It is a little known fact that the first tower is higher than the second 40 cm high total 46.40 mts
grill-work atrium surrounds three of the Cathedral sides,
where three imposing and magnificent monuments have been erected.
of them represent Christ the King.
In the remaining, the
Diego is seen showing to Bishop Fray Juan de Zamarraga
the ayate with the miraculous
Lady of Guadalupe.
In the fore part of
this Cathedral there is a lovely portico
(most unusual in the big Cathedrals of Mexico)
which give it a very
On the side walls,
four large sculptures can be seen, representing the evangelists:
Mark, Luke and John.
Stepping inside from
the front door
in its eminent interior there are three naves,
whose style is a definitive and sublime mix of Gothic, Baroque and
In the back of the
main altar, sheltered by a marble cupola,
there is a splendid sculpture of the
On the frontal part
of the white marble altar, a beautiful representation of
the Last Supper
and a majestic mural
Holy Trinity surrounded by angels
and other celestial figures.
If we look
attentively, we will see that within the curvilinear triangle that forms the arches with the
ring of the cupola, we can admire the regal figures of the Church Doctors, Saints
Bernard and Ambrose
and of the Prophets of the old testament,
Zacharias and Moses.
In the refined Gothic
style altar, you will find the most beautiful statues of Carrara marble saints and
angels, of certain Italian
together with the
images of Saint
Anne and Saint Joaquin,
considered, by experts,
irreplaceable jewel of art.
The Cathedral, in its
complex, is a building that contains elements that make it look majestic; its
architectonic design and its ornamental details are unique and of indisputable
Even though its
architectonic design is eclectic, its interior as well as its exterior is a
well executed combination between Moorish and Gothic, similar to the
architectonic style of the Cathedrals of
Toledo, Siguenza and the Mosque of
towers and the exterior cupola are covered with yellow European tiles
The Cathedral has
four lateral altars,
two on both sides of
the main altar
and the other two on
of the main entry.
The design is
and they are
consecrated to :
Our Lady of the Saint
the Sacred Heart of
Our Lord Saint
Our Lady of Guadalupe.
mentioning are the
religious frescos on the sides of the main and lateral altars which,
even if made
more recently (1942), are truly of magnificent execution.
mahogany balustrades that surround the upper part of the vaulted ceiling
whose ceiling is made out of American cedar
are a jewel of design and an
accomplished work of art.
And we cannot omit to
mention its huge central candelabra,
candelabra placed along the sides, profusely adorned with very fine French
installed in the year 1950
the main altar
is the gift of :
de la Peña
and his daughter
The Blessing of the New Marble Altar was held the day December 31, 1933
In the last altar, we
find the burial of the first Bishop of the Diocese of Mazatlan,
his Excellency Don Miguel Garcia Franco.
The offices of the
and of the
are situated behind
On the second floor
above the sacristy
in the waiting room
of the Bishop
one can admire
four excellent oil
of the Fathers:
Miguel Lacarra José Ruiz Rueda
and of the Bishops:
Ramos Miguel García Franco.
Obispo de Culiacán primer Obispo de Mazatlán
you only need look at
the fourteen European sculptures
placed on the lateral
that represent our
Lord’s Via Crucis,
or marvel with the
exquisite images of:
San Juan Bosco,
Saint Jude Thaddeus,
our Lady of Fatima,
Our Lady of the Rays,
of the Sacred Heart
of Baby Jesus,
Jesus the Nazarene,
Christ the King,
the Sorrowful Virgin
and the crystal dome
with the Holy Burial
However, the joy of
the Cathedral is its grandiose organ built in Paris by Aristide Cavaillie-Coll (1811-1899),
although in the Cathedral’s archives it is not specified the date when this
marvelous musical instrument was acquired, information gathered in the press of
those days indicates that the organ was first played on May 7, 1889, for the pleasure of the catholic citizens of the city of Mazatlan.
Origin of Mazatlan and its Cathedral
the most Gustavo Gama Olmos
Manuel Gomez Rubio
Gustavo Gama Olmos
translated by Pietro Corsi and Tere Valenzuela"