The Basilica of the Lady of Guadeloupe (La Villa de Guadeloupe) is modern and old. There are two Basilicas. The original is going to be a museum. I saw the outside and it is sinking into the ground. The new church is very large. It houses a portrait of the lady. People want to get close to the portrait so there is a moving sidewalk to take you past it.
I was there on a feast day. I saw people moving towards the church in a procession. Some of the people were on horses. The men and women had on traditional Mexican clothing.
The dedication of Mexican Catholics is moving. I saw women walking on their knees into the church. It must have been painful, but a sense of joy was on their faces.
According to the legend, The Holy Virgin appeared here. It was the Indian farmer Juan Diego who saw her here at the foot of the hill, Cerro Del Tepeyac on December the 9th 1531.
And since that day his whole Indian community took the Virgin as their patroness. But even nowadays this Virgin of Guadalupe plays an important role in the religious life of most Mexicans, This Virgin is even more important then Jesus Christ. At the place where the Virgin appeared they built a church around 1566, later on around 1709 they built this Basilica.
Visit the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe
The present church was constructed on the site of an earlier 16th-century church that was finished in 1709, the Old Basilica. When this basilica became dangerous due to the sinking of its foundations, a modern structure called the New Basilica was built nearby; the original image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is now housed in this New Basilica.
Built between 1974 and 1976, the new Basilica was designed by architect Pedro Ramirez Vasquez. It has a circular floorplan so that the image of the Virgin can be seen from any point within the building. An empty crucifix symbolizes Christ's resurrection. The choir is located between the altar and the churchgoers to indicate that it, too, is part of the group of the faithful. To the sides are the chapels of Santisimo and of Saint Joseph. Its seven front doors are an allusion to the seven gates of Celestial Jerusalem referred to by Christ.
This modern Basilica is designed by the same architect, which designed the Museo Nacional of Antropologia. Inside this Basilica there is place for 10.000 believers.
The interior of the old Basilica looks really beautifully. Personally I did more like the interior of the old Basilica then the interior of the modern one.