One day I visited the Museum of Modern Art in Chapultepec Park to see a collection of 50 major Mexican pieces of art, pieces by the biggies:
O'Gorman, Clemente Orozco. Nice exhibition.
Another obligatory sight in DF that I'd neglected on previous visits was the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe. 'Twas a long subway ride but exceeded my expectations. It's an immense site with a huge open plaza
around which are located the old basilicia of Guadalupe,
the new Basillica designed by Pedro Ramírez Vásquez (who also designed the Archaeological Museum in Mexico City), capacity, 50,000.
small churches for the Indios
and a small church on the hill.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (also called Our Lady of Tepeyac or the Virgin of Guadalupe) is a manifestation of the Virgin Mary who first appeared on Tepeyac Hill outside Mexico city to a native Mexican peasant named Juan Diego in 1531. In the centre of the square is a bell tower where, at regular intervals, bells ring, recorded music plays, two large doors slide open and a quite cheesy mechanical enactment of the mythological story unfolds in several acts.
The Virgin asked Juan Diego to speak to the bishop and tell him that she wished for a temple to be built in that place in her honor.
The bishop required a sign as proof. Juan Diego returned to the Virgin and she told him to pick some roses and carry them in his tilma (cloak). When he went back to the bishop he opened his cloak, the flowers fell out and there was an image of the Virgin miraculously imprinted on the garment.
I've heard it said that the Villa de Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic site in the world. It may or may not be but it attracts many millions every year and around 2 million on December 12 alone.
I spent several hours there, walking around the grounds, looking inside the different churches, walking up the hill and admiring the lovely gardens and views.
I understand that masses are conducted pretty much constantly in the new Basilica and I got in on the tail end of one.