Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 27 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Simeon Sylites

Holy Fixer Upper: Mexico’s First Cathedral May Have Been an Aztec Temple

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/14/16

Well, this is pretty interesting:

Archaeologists have found a heavy stone slab covering the tomb of one of the first Catholic priests in Mexico following the 1521 Spanish conquest, a grave sunk into the floor of what appears to be an Aztec temple. The discovery suggests the extent to which the Spanish reused the temples of the Aztec capital in the first years after capturing it. The huge slab was uncovered in recent days at the site of the now-disappeared first cathedral of Mexico City, built in 1524 yards from the current cathedral that replaced it in the 1620s. The nearly 2-metre-long slab was sunk into the same level of the stucco floor of what appears to be an Aztec temple. The cathedral was simply built over the temple and apparently used the same floor. The Spaniards apparently gave the floor only a thin coat of lime whitewash before using it for their church. “The Spaniards, Hernán Cortes and his followers, made use of the pre-Hispanic structures, the temples, the foundations, the floors,” said Raúl Barrera, an archaeologist for the government’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. “They even used the walls, the floors. They couldn’t destroy everything all at once.” The name of priest Miguel de Palomares was found carved on the slab. Archaeologists must still confirm it is his burial place, and hope to find his remains when they lift the stone slab in the coming weeks. De Palomares was a prominent priest who died in 1542 and was buried inside the old cathedral, apparently near an altar. Barrera said stones near one end of the slab appear to be part of that altar.

Read it all.  

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
3
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
4
ORGAN
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
5
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
6
BABCIA Z WNUKAMI
Cerith Gardiner
5 Ways grandparents impact our lives for the better
7
ELON MUSK HOUSING
Sarah Robsdottir
What we can learn from Elon Musk’s housing decisions
See More