The first stones of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City were put into place in 1573, taken from the rocks of a nearby Aztec temple, which Hernán Cortés and his gang of conquistadores destroyed after the Spanish invasion and occupation of Mexico 50 years earlier. The cathedral, assembled in parts over the centuries, now towers above what was one of the most sacred spots in the Aztec empire.
That’s the part of the story the guide might not tell you, but it’s an important fact to keep in mind if you decide to take the tour to the top of the Cathedral, which dominates the modern-day location of the zócalo, Mexico City’s main plaza.
Tours are given 7 days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting. Purchase a ticket just inside the main entrance of the cathedral. You’ll learn about the history of the cathedral and get to hear the bells ring up close. For more information, visit their website.
Updated Oct. 20, 2017: Tours are not being given at this time due to last month’s major earthquake in Mexico City, which damaged the belltowers.
360-degree view of inside Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral.