Churches in Mexico, part 2

In my previous posting, you saw some of the smaller churches here around Lake Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.  But in larger towns/cities like Guadalajara, there are some huge and ornate churches.  The photo above is of the Templo Expiatorio in Guad.  Larger structures around here often take a lot of time to finish because of a lack of funds, as a rule.  Materials may also be scarce, but inexpensive labor never seems to be a problem.

For whichever of these reasons, the Templo Expiatorio was begun in 1897 and not finished until 1975, seventy-five years later.  But it’s spectacular now!

These are the two of the doors on the street-side of the Templo.  The dark rectangles are actually open doors:

and these are the carvings above the doors:

In addition to the carvings, there are lovely paintings above the entrances:

The Templo Expiatorio is apparently the only example of a neo-Gothic church in Mexico….or at least it was at the time that this very impressive collection of churches was compiled:

Aside from the Catedral Inconclusa in Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico, the Templo Expiatorio is the largest church that I have been in in Mexico so far.  I’m much more likely to be in the small pueblo of Cojumatlan, Michoacan, population maybe 9,000.

But Cojumatlan contains one of my favorite churches around Lake Chapala, the Parroquia del Senor del Perdon.  I like it so much inside that I always include it in one of my tours of the south shore of Lake Chapala.

Built beginning in 1890, its exterior is quite plain:

although much more intricate than, for instance, the little church in San Cristobal Zapotitlan that I wrote about in my previous blog.

It’s really the interior of the church that I take everyone to see.  I’ll be writing other postings about church interiors, but here’s a sneak peek of what awaits one in Cojumatlan:

Jamay, Jalisco, on the north shore of Lake Chapala has the most amazing “tower”/monument in its plaza that I’ve seen down here.  (You can check it out on my earlier post about Jamay:

Compared to the monument, the church on the plaza is quiet ordinary from the front:

but there are some interesting things going on on the sides and back.

You might remember that in my first post about churches in Mexico, I mentioned that often additions are made to original structures or materials from original structures are used in the construction of new churchs.  In the case of the church on Jamay’s plaza, you can see both occurring.

The original building is located very close to the church shown above:

This original church, built in 1766, was destroyed by an earthquake in the late 1800s and the “new” church was begun immediately thereafter, using stones from the old church when possible.  The remains of the old church have been left standing and pieces from it are still used to repair the new church when combined with “modern” materials:

If you think that the front facade of the new church doesn’t look all that old, take a look at what it looks like on the back and sides:

I love that little door.  It reminds me of something that Alice in Wonderland would have to crawl through….although it’s not THAT small.  Here’s a photo of my friend Jonnie standing next to it.  To give you some idea of the size of it, Jonnie is 5’8″ (1.72 meters) in height.

That’s part 2 of your look at some of the churches….large and small….around my part of Mexico.  I’ll continue on later with photos from Sahuayo, Michoacan, and Potrerillos and Las Trojes, Jalisco.


About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
This entry was posted in Churches, Fun Stuff, General, Lake Chapala, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Churches in Mexico, part 2

  1. K says:

    Traveling with Barb is an ABC experience, stopping and gawking at each and every spire we see……ABC meaning Another Beautiful Church.

    • Barbara says:

      yeah, it’s true! i see those spires and pretty much demand that we go there so i can look around!

      and, thanks, koko, for indulging me in those whims when you’re driving….as you often are!

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