Zacatecas the Free and Sovereign State of Zacatecas, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 58 municipalities and its capital city is Zacatecas City. Zacatecas is located in North-Central Mexico, it is bordered by the states of Durango to the northwest, Coahuila to the north, Nayarit to the west, San Luis Potosí and Nuevo León to the east, Jalisco and Aguascalientes to the south. The state is best known for its rich deposits of silver and other minerals, its colonial architecture and its importance during the Mexican Revolution, its main economic activities are mining and tourism. Zacatecas is located in the center-north of Mexico, covers an area of 75,284km2, the tenth largest state in the country, it borders the states of Jalisco, San Luis Potosí, Coahuila and Durango and is divided into fifty-eight municipalities and 4,882 towns and other communities. The state has an average altitude of 2230 meters above sea level, with the capital at 2,496 masl.
The state has three main geographical regions, the Sierra Madre Occidental in the west, the Mexican Plateau and the Sierra Madre Oriental. Most of it is in the Sierra Madre Occidental with rugged peaks of over 2,500 meters above sea level; the mountains of the southeast and northeast are lower but there are large valleys such as the Juchipila and Tlaltenango. Most of the territory has other areas of flat land. In the center of the state there is a small mountain chain called the Sierra de Fresnillo, from which much of the state's mineral wealth comes. In the extreme northwest there is another important mountain chain called the Sierra de Sombrerete, marked by a mountain called Sombreretillo, an important source of mineral wealth. Near this chain is another called the Sierra de Órganos. No major rivers run through the state and most of the waterways run only during the rainy season; the state is part of two water basins. The southeast of the state belongs to the Lerma River basin, which empties in the Pacific Ocean.
Rivers belonging to this basin include the San Pedro, Juchipila and Tlaltenango. The other basin is smaller and endorheic, does not empty into any ocean; the state has eighty dams with a total capacity of 595,337 million cubic meters. The largest of these are the Leobardo Reynoso in Fresnillo, Miguel Aleman in Tepechitlan and El Chique in Tabasco. Much of the state's water is underground divided into twenty hydraulic zones; these are accessed by over 5,800 wells for agricultural use. Most of the territory has a cool, dry climate, although areas in the south have more moisture, with most rain falling between June and September; the driest and coldest areas are in the northeast, known as the Salado because of its saltwater lakes. 75 % of the state is semi arid. 14% is arable and 79% is apt for the grazing of livestock. The average annual temperature is 16C with most of the state being temperate; the coldest months are from November with frost not uncommon. The warmest month is June; the state gets an average rainfall of 400mm per year in the summer, with the warmest and wettest part of the state is along the Sierra Madre Occidental.
Ecosystems vary depending on relief and temperature, leading to a wide variety of vegetation, including forests and grasslands. Arid areas are dominated by various species of cactus. In the far south there are deciduous trees that lose their leaves in spring. Statewide the most common trees are mesquite and palo verde. In the highest altitude, near the Jalisco border, there are mixed forests of pine and holm oak, with the latter dominating along the border with Durango and some along the border with San Luis Potosí. One interesting tree that occurs in Zacatecas is the elephant tree. In the sierras there are white-tailed deer and hares; the extreme northern part of the state is the southern fringe of the Chihuahuan Desert and as such is rich and diverse in biology. This desert is home to a large amount of cacti and is one of the most ecologically diverse deserts on earth; the state name derives from the name of Zacatecas. This word is derived from Nahuatl and means "where there is abundant zacate".
The state seal depicts the Cerro de la Bufa, a landmark of the capital, surrounded by the weapons of the original inhabitants. Above is the motto "Work conquers all." Before the arrival of the Spanish, dominant ethnic groups included the Caxcans and Guachichils, with a probable rivalry between the Guachichils and the Caxcans. The history of these peoples is sketchy and it is not known when the first settlements were founded in the region. Between the fourth and tenth centuries in the Christian era, several large settlements developed such as Altavista, Chalchihuites and La Quemada, considered to be part of Greater Mesoamerica. Areas in the north of the state, without major settlements, were part of what is called Aridoamerica, where inhabitants lived off hunting and gathering; the first of the major population centers emerged along the Suchil and Guadiana Rivers. The archaeological sites of today are all ceremonial centers and/or observatories in the center of metropolises; the first Spanish settlement in the state's current borders was in what is now Nochistlan in 1531, the original Guadalajara.
This settlement was moved to its current location in Jalisco because of water supply problems and indigenous attacks. The capital was founded by Juan de Tolosa with the support of Cristob
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was Duke of Milan. From 1555 he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands; the son of Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, Philip was called "Felipe el Prudente" in Spain. During his reign, Spain reached the height of its power; this is sometimes called the Spanish Golden Age. The expression "the empire on which the sun never sets" was coined during Philip's time to reflect the extent of his dominion. During Philip's reign there were separate state bankruptcies in 1557, 1560, 1569, 1575, 1596; this was the cause of the declaration of independence that created the Dutch Republic in 1581. On 31 December 1584 Philip signed the Treaty of Joinville, with Henry I, Duke of Guise signing on behalf of the Catholic League. A devout Catholic, Philip saw himself as the defender of Catholic Europe against the Ottoman Empire and the Protestant Reformation.
He sent a large armada to invade Protestant England in 1588, with the strategic aim of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England and the establishment of Protestantism in England. He hoped to stop both English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and the harm caused to Spanish interests by English and Dutch privateering. Philip was described by the Venetian ambassador Paolo Fagolo in 1563 as "slight of stature and round-faced, with pale blue eyes, somewhat prominent lip, pink skin, but his overall appearance is attractive"; the Ambassador went on to say "He dresses tastefully, everything that he does is courteous and gracious." Besides Mary I, Philip was married three other times and widowed four times. The son of Charles I and V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor and his wife, Isabella of Portugal, Philip was born in the Spanish capital of Valladolid on 21 May 1527 at Palacio de Pimentel, owned by Don Bernardino Pimentel; the culture and courtly life of Spain were an important influence in his early life.
He was tutored by the future Archbishop of Toledo. Philip displayed reasonable aptitude in letters alike, he would study with more illustrious tutors, including the humanist Juan Cristóbal Calvete de Estrella. Though Philip had good command over Latin and Portuguese, he never managed to equal his father, Charles V, as a polyglot. While Philip was a German archduke of the House of Habsburg, he was seen as a foreigner in the Holy Roman Empire; the feeling was mutual. Philip felt himself to be culturally Spanish; this would impede his succession to the imperial throne. In April 1528, when Philip was eleven months old, he received the oath of allegiance as heir to the crown from the Cortes of Castile. From that time until the death of his mother Isabella in 1539, he was raised in the royal court of Castile under the care of his mother and one of her Portuguese ladies, Dona Leonor de Mascarenhas, to whom he was devotedly attached. Philip was close to his two sisters, María and Juana, to his two pages, the Portuguese nobleman Rui Gomes da Silva and Luis de Requesens, the son of his governor Juan de Zúñiga.
These men would serve Philip throughout their lives, as would Antonio Pérez, his secretary from 1541. Philip's martial training was undertaken by his governor, Juan de Zúñiga, a Castilian nobleman who served as the commendador mayor of Castile; the practical lessons in warfare were overseen by the Duke of Alba during the Italian Wars. Philip was present at the Siege of Perpignan in 1542 but did not see action as the Spanish army under Alba decisively defeated the besieging French forces under the Dauphin of France. On his way back to Castile, Philip received the oath of allegiance of the Aragonese Cortes at Monzón, his political training had begun a year under his father, who had found his son studious and prudent beyond his years, having decided to train and initiate him in the government of Spain. The king-emperor's interactions with his son during his stay in Spain convinced him of Philip's precocity in statesmanship, so he determined to leave in his hands the regency of Spain in 1543. Philip, made the Duke of Milan in 1540, began governing the most extensive empire in the world at the young age of sixteen.
Charles left Philip with experienced advisors—notably the secretary Francisco de los Cobos and the general Duke of Alba. Philip was left with extensive written instructions that emphasised "piety, patience and distrust." These principles of Charles were assimilated by his son, who would grow up to become grave, self-possessed and cautious. Philip spoke and had an icy self-mastery. After living in the Netherlands in the early years of his reign, Philip II decided to return to Spain. Although sometimes described as an absolute monarch, Philip faced many constitutional constraints on his authority, influenced by the growing strength of the bureaucracy; the Spanish Empire was not a single monarchy with one legal system but a federation of separate r
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of more than 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru and the third-largest city in the Americas, behind São Paulo and Mexico City. Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on 18 January 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes in the agricultural region known by the Indians as Limaq, name that acquired over time, it became most important city in the Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Around one-third of the national population lives in the metropolitan area. Lima is home to one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the New World; the National University of San Marcos, founded on 12 May 1551, during the Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.
Nowadays the city is considered as the political, cultural and commercial center of the country. Internationally, it is one of the thirty most populated urban agglomerations in the world. Due to its geostrategic importance, it has been defined as a "beta" city. Jurisdictionally, the metropolis extends within the province of Lima and in a smaller portion, to the west, within the constitutional province of Callao, where the seaport and the Jorge Chávez airport are located. Both provinces have regional autonomy since 2002. In October 2013, Lima was chosen to host the 2019 Pan American Games, it hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2014 and the Miss Universe 1982 contest. According to early Spanish articles the Lima area was once called Itchyma, after its original inhabitants; however before the Inca occupation of the area in the 15th century, a famous oracle in the Rímac valley had come to be known by visitors as Limaq. This oracle was destroyed by the Spanish and replaced with a church, but the name persisted: the chronicles show "Límac" replacing "Ychma" as the common name for the area.
Modern scholars speculate that the word "Lima" originated as the Spanish pronunciation of the native name Limaq. Linguistic evidence seems to support this theory as spoken Spanish rejects stop consonants in word-final position. Non-Peruvian Spanish speakers may mistakenly define the city name as the direct Spanish translation of "lime", the citrus fruit; the city was founded in 1535 under the name City of the Kings because its foundation was decided on 6 January, date of the feast of the Epiphany. This name fell into disuse and Lima became the city's name of choice; the river that feeds Lima is called Rímac and many people erroneously assume that this is because its original Inca name is "Talking River". However, the original inhabitants of the valley were not Incas; this name is an innovation arising from an effort by the Cuzco nobility in colonial times to standardize the toponym so that it would conform to the phonology of Cuzco Quechua. As the original inhabitants died out and the local Quechua became extinct, the Cuzco pronunciation prevailed.
Nowadays, Spanish-speaking locals do not see the connection between the name of their city and the name of the river that runs through it. They assume that the valley is named after the river; the Flag of Lima has been known as the "Banner of Peru's Kings' City". It is embroidered in the center is its coat of arms. Lima's anthem was heard for the first time on 18 January 2008, in a formal meeting with important politicians, including Peruvian President Alan García, other authorities; the anthem was created by Euding Maeshiro and record producer Ricardo Núñez. In the pre-Columbian era, what is now Lima was inhabited by indigenous groups under the Ychsma policy, incorporated into the Inca Empire in the 15th century. In 1532 a group of Spanish conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro, defeated the Inca ruler Atahualpa and took over his empire; as the Spanish Crown had named Pizarro governor of the lands he conquered, he chose the Rímac Valley to found his capital on 18 January 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes.
In August 1536, rebel Inca troops led by Manco Inca Yupanqui besieged the city but were defeated by the Spaniards and their native allies. Lima gained prestige after being designated capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and site of a Real Audiencia in 1543. During the next century it flourished as the centre of an extensive trade network that integrated the Viceroyalty with the rest of the Americas and the Far East. However, the city was not free from dangers; the 1687 Peru earthquake destroyed most of the city buildings. In 1746, another p
Council of the Indies
The Council of the Indies. The crown held absolute power over the Indies and the Council of the Indies was the administrative and advisory body for those overseas realms, it was established in 1524 by Charles V to administer "the Indies," Spain's name for its territories. Such an administrative entity, on the conciliar model of the Council of Castile, was created following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire in 1521, which demonstrated the importance of the Americas. An itinerary council that followed Charles V, it was subsequently established as an autonomous body with legislative and judicial functions by Philip II of Spain and placed in Madrid in 1561; the Council of the Indies was abolished in 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes restored in 1814 by Ferdinand VII of Spain, definitively abolished in 1834 by the regency, acting on behalf of the four-year-old Isabella II of Spain. Queen Isabella had granted extensive authority to Christopher Columbus, but withdrew that authority, established direct royal control, putting matters of the Indies in the hands of her chaplain, Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca in 1493.
The Catholic Monarchs designated Rodríguez de Fonseca to study the problems related to the colonization process arising from what was seen as tyrannical behavior of Governor Christopher Columbus and his misgovernment of Natives and Iberian settlers. Rodríguez de Fonseca became minister for the Indies and laid the foundations for the creation of a colonial bureaucracy, he presided over a committee or council, which contained a number of members of the Council of Castile, formed a Junta de Indias of about eight counselors. Emperor Charles V was using the term "Council of the Indies" in 1519; the Council of the Indies was formally created on August 1, 1524. The king was informed weekly, sometimes daily, of decisions reached by the Council, which came to exercise supreme authority over the Indies at the local level and over the Casa de Contratación founded in 1503 at Seville as a customs storehouse for the Indies. Civil suits of sufficient importance could be appealed from an audiencia in the New World to the Council, functioning as a court of last resort.
There were two secretaries of the Council, one in charge of Peru, Chile and the Kingdom of New Granada. The name of the Council did not change with the addition of the indias orientales of the Philippines and other Pacific territories claimed by Spain to the original indias occidentales. Internecine fighting and political instability in Peru and the untiring efforts of Bartolomé de las Casas on behalf of the natives' rights resulted in Charles's overhaul of the structure of the Council in 1542 with issuing of the "New Laws," which put limits on the rights of Spanish holders of encomiendas, grants of indigenous labor. Under Charles II the Council undertook the project to formally codify the large volume of Council and Crown's decisions and legislation for the Indies in the 1680 publication, the Laws of the Indies and re-codified in 1791; the Council of the Indies was headed by an ecclesiastic, but the councilors were non-clerics trained in law. In years and royal favorites were in the ranks of councilors, as well as men who had experience in the high courts of the Indies.
A key example of such an experienced councilor was Juan de Solórzano Pereira, author of Política Indiana, who served in Peru prior to being named to the Council of the Indies and led the project on the Laws of the Indies. Other noteworthy Presidents of the Council were es:Francisco Tello de Sandoval. Although the Council had responsibility for all aspects of the Indies, under Philip II the financial aspects of the empire were shifted to the Council on Finance in 1556-57, a source of conflict between the two councils since Spanish America came to be the source of the empire's wealth; when the Holy Office of the Inquisition was established as an institution in Mexico and Lima in the 1570s, the Council of the Indies was removed from control. The head of the Supreme Council of the Inquisition, es:Juan de Ovando y Godoy became president of the Council of the Indies 1571-75, he was appalled by the ignorance of the Indies by those serving on the Council. He sought the creation of a general description of the territories, never completed, but the Relaciones geográficas were the result of that project.
The height of the Council's power was in the sixteenth century. Its power declined and the quality of the councillors decreased. In the final years of the Hapsburg dynasty, some appointments were sold or were accorded to people unqualified, such as a nine-year-old boy, whose father had rendered services to the crown. With the ascension of the Bourbon dynasty at the start of the eighteenth century, a series of administrative changes, known as the Bourbon reforms, were introduced. In 1714 Philip V created a Secretariat of the Navy and the Indies with a single Minister of the Indies, which superseded the administrative functions of the Council, although the Council continued to function in a secondary role until the ninet
Peru the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river. Peruvian territory was home to several ancient cultures. Ranging from the Norte Chico civilization in the 32nd century BC, the oldest civilization in the Americas and one of the five cradles of civilization, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America, the territory now including Peru has one of the longest histories of civilization of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 4th millennia BCE; the Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a viceroyalty that encompassed most of its South American colonies, with its capital in Lima.
Peru formally proclaimed independence in 1821, following the military campaigns of José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar, the decisive battle of Ayacucho, Peru secured independence in 1824. In the ensuing years, the country enjoyed relative economic and political stability, which ended shortly before the War of the Pacific with Chile. Throughout the 20th century, Peru endured armed territorial disputes, social unrest, internal conflicts, as well as periods of stability and economic upswing. Alberto Fujimori was elected to the presidency in 1990. Fujimori left the presidency in 2000 and was charged with human rights violations and imprisoned until his pardon by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in 2017. After the president's regime, Fujimori's followers, called Fujimoristas, have caused political turmoil for any opposing faction in power causing Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to resign in March 2018; the sovereign state of Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. It is classified as an emerging market with a high level of human development and an upper middle income level with a poverty rate around 19 percent.
It is one of the region's most prosperous economies with an average growth rate of 5.9% and it has one of the world's fastest industrial growth rates at an average of 9.6%. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing and fishing; the country forms part of The Pacific Pumas, a political and economic grouping of countries along Latin America's Pacific coast that share common trends of positive growth, stable macroeconomic foundations, improved governance and an openness to global integration. Peru ranks high in social freedom. Peru has a population of 32 million, which includes Amerindians, Europeans and Asians; the main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine and music; the name of the country may be derived from Birú, the name of a local ruler who lived near the Bay of San Miguel, Panama City, in the early 16th century.
When his possessions were visited by Spanish explorers in 1522, they were the southernmost part of the New World yet known to Europeans. Thus, when Francisco Pizarro explored the regions farther south, they came to be designated Birú or Perú. An alternative history is provided by the contemporary writer Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, son of an Inca princess and a conquistador, he said the name Birú was that of a common Indian happened upon by the crew of a ship on an exploratory mission for governor Pedro Arias de Ávila, went on to relate more instances of misunderstandings due to the lack of a common language. The Spanish Crown gave the name legal status with the 1529 Capitulación de Toledo, which designated the newly encountered Inca Empire as the province of Peru. Under Spanish rule, the country adopted the denomination Viceroyalty of Peru, which became Republic of Peru after independence; the earliest evidences of human presence in Peruvian territory have been dated to 9,000 BC. Andean societies were based on agriculture, terracing.
Organization relied on reciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money. The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3,000 and 1,800 BC; these early developments were followed by archaeological cultures that developed around the coastal and Andean regions throughout Peru. The Cupisnique culture which flourished from around 1000 to 200 BC along what is now Peru's Pacific Coast was an example of early pre-Incan culture; the Chavín culture that developed from 1500 to 300 BC was more of a religious than a political phenomenon, with their religious centre in Chavín de Huantar. After the decline of the Chavin culture around the beginning of the 1st century AD, a series of localized and specialized cultures rose and fell
Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI of Castile, called the Avenger, was the king of Castile, León and Galicia. He was the son of his wife Constance of Portugal. Upon his father's death in 1312, several disputes ensued over who would hold regency, which were resolved in 1313. Once Alfonso was declared adult in 1325, he began a reign that would serve to strengthen royal power, his achievements include solving the conquest of Algeciras. Alfonso XI was the son of King Ferdinand IV of Constance of Portugal, his father died. His grandmother, María de Molina, his mother Constance, his granduncle Infante John of Castile, Lord of Valencia de Campos, son of King Alfonso X of Castile and uncle Infante Peter of Castile, Lord of Cameros, son of King Sancho IV assumed the regency. Queen Constance died first on 18 November 1313, followed by Infantes John and Peter during a military campaign against Granada in 1319, which left Dowager Queen María as the only regent until her death on 1 July 1321. After the death of the infantes John and Peter in 1319, Juan Manuel and Juan el Tuerto split the kingdom among themselves according to their aspirations for regency as it was being looted by moors and the rebellious nobility.
As soon as he took the throne, he began working hard to strengthen royal power by dividing his enemies. His early display of rulership skills included the unhesitant execution of possible opponents, including his uncle Juan el Tuerto in 1326, he managed to extend the limits of his kingdom to the Strait of Gibraltar after the important victory at the Battle of Río Salado against the Marinid Dynasty in 1340 and the conquest of the Kingdom of Algeciras in 1344. Once that conflict was resolved, he redirected all his Reconquista efforts to fighting the Moorish king of Granada, he is variously known among Castilian kings as the Avenger or the Implacable, as "He of Río Salado." The first two names he earned by the ferocity with which he repressed the disorders caused by the nobles during his long minority. Alfonso XI never went to the insane lengths of his son Peter of Castile, but he could be bloody in his methods, he killed for reasons of state without any form of trial. He neglected his wife, Maria of Portugal, indulged a scandalous passion for Eleanor of Guzman, who bore him ten children.
This set Peter an example. It may be that his early death, during the Great Plague of 1350, at the Fifth Siege of Gibraltar, only averted a desperate struggle with Peter, though it was a misfortune in that it removed a ruler of eminent capacity, who understood his subjects well enough not to go too far. Alfonso died in the night of 25–26 March 1350. Alfonso XI first had the union annulled two years later, his second marriage, in 1328, was to his double first cousin Maria of Portugal, daughter of Alfonso IV of Portugal. They had: Ferdinand. By his mistress, Eleanor of Guzman, he had ten children: Pedro Alfonso, Lord of Aguilar de Campoo Sancho Alfonso, 1st Lord of Ledesma Henry II of Castile King of Castile; the marriage was annulled and in 1366 she married Felipe de Castro. "... King Alfonso was not tall but well proportioned, he was rather strong and had fair skin and hair." Chapman, Charles Edward and Rafael Altamira, A history of Spain, The MacMillan Company, 1922. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Hannay, D..
"Alphonso". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 1. Cambridge University Press. León-Sotelo, María & González Crespo, Esther. "Notas para el itinerario de Alfonso XI en el periodo de 1344 a 1350". En la España Medieval. Vol. 8 no. 5. Complutense University of Madrid. Pp. 575–589. ISSN 0214-3038. Medieval Iberia: an encyclopedia, Ed. E. Michael Gerli and Samuel G. Armistead, Routledge, 2003
Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heavens is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico. It is situated atop the former Aztec sacred precinct near the Templo Mayor on the northern side of the Plaza de la Constitución in Downtown Mexico City; the cathedral was built in sections from 1573 to 1813 around the original church, constructed soon after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan replacing it entirely. Spanish architect Claudio de Arciniega planned the construction, drawing inspiration from Gothic cathedrals in Spain; the cathedral has four façades which contain portals flanked with statues. The two bell towers contain a total of 25 bells; the tabernacle, adjacent to the cathedral, contains the baptistery and serves to register the parishioners. There are two large, ornate altars, a sacristy, a choir in the cathedral. Fourteen of the cathedral's sixteen chapels are open to the public; each chapel is dedicated to a different saint or saints, each was sponsored by a religious guild.
The chapels contain ornate altars, retablos, paintings and sculptures. The cathedral is home to two of the largest 18th-century organs in the Americas. There is a crypt underneath the cathedral. Over the centuries, the cathedral has suffered damage. A fire in 1967 destroyed a significant part of the cathedral's interior; the restoration work that followed uncovered a number of important documents and artwork, hidden. Although a solid foundation was built for the cathedral, the soft clay soil it is built on has been a threat to its structural integrity. Dropping water tables and accelerated sinking caused the structure to be added to the World Monuments Fund list of the 100 Most Endangered Sites. Reconstruction work beginning in the 1990s stabilized the cathedral and it was removed from the endangered list in 2000. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, the conquistadors decided to build their church on the site of the Templo Mayor of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan to consolidate Spanish power over the newly conquered domain.
Hernán Cortés and the other conquistadors used the stones from the destroyed temple of the Aztec god of war Huitzilopochtli, principal deity of the Aztecs, to build the church. Cortés ordered the original church's construction after he returned from exploring what is now Honduras. Architect Martín de Sepúlveda was the first director of this project from 1524 to 1532. Juan de Zumárraga, the first Bishop of the first See of the New World, established in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, promoted this church's completion. Zumárraga's Cathedral was located in the northeast portion of, it had three naves separated by three Tuscan columns. The central roof was ridged with intricate carvings done by Juan Salcedo Espinosa and gilded by Francisco de Zumaya and Andrés de la Concha; the main door was of Renaissance style. The choir area had 48 seats made of ayacahuite wood crafted by Juan Montaño. However, this church was soon considered inadequate for the growing importance of the capital of New Spain. In 1544, ecclesiastical authorities in Valladolid ordered the creation of new and more sumptuous cathedral.
In 1552, an agreement was reached whereby the cost of the new cathedral would be shared by the Spanish crown and the native inhabitants under the direct authority of the archbishop of New Spain. The cathedral was begun by being built around the existing church in 1573; when enough of the cathedral was built to house basic functions, the original church was demolished to enable construction to continue. The cathedral was constructed over a period of over two centuries, between 1573 and 1813, its design is a mixture of three architectural styles that predominated during the colonial period, Renaissance and Neo-classic. Initial plans for the new cathedral were drawn up and work on the foundation began in 1562; the decision to have the cathedral face south instead of east was made in 1570. In the same year, construction commenced, working from the Gothic designs and models created by Claudio de Arciniega and Juan Miguel de Agüero, inspired by cathedrals found in Spanish cities such as Valladolid and Jaén.
Because of the muddy subsoil of the site, work on the foundation continued past the work on the walls to 1581. In 1585, work on the first of the cathedral's chapels began and by 1615, the cathedral's walls reached to about half of their final height. Construction of the interior of the current cathedral began in 1623 and what is now the vestry was where Mass was conducted after the first church was torn down. In 1629, work was interrupted over two metres in depth. Parts of the city were damaged around the main plaza or Zócalo; because of such damage, this site was abandoned and a new cathedral project was begun in the hills of the Tacubaya area to the west. Despite these problems, the project continued in its current location, under the direction of Luis Gómez de Transmonte, the interior was finished and consecrated in 1667; the cathedral still lacked bell towers, the complete front facade, many of the other features it has now at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1787, José Damian Ortiz de Castro was in charge of finishing work on the cathedral.
He did most of the work on the bell towers, putting in most of the fretwork and capping them with roofs in the shape of bells. With his death in 1793, he did not live to see the cathedral completed, Manuel Tolsá finished the cathedral by adding the cupola, the central front facade, the balustrades, the statues of