In the view of the Mazatlan City Guide, no day of sightseeing in Mazatlan is complete without letting the towering double spire of the Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion guide you to the very center of The Pearl of The Pacific.
Begun by the Bishop Pedro Loza y Pardave in 1856, the Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion was built on the site of an ancient Indian temple.
Almost immediately after work was started it was suspended for nearly 20 years. General unrest and the French attempt to re-colonialize Mexico in the mid 1860s delayed the completion of the Basilica for two generations.
In 1875 work resumed under the direction of Padre Miguel Lacarra. Mason Estanislao Léon, carpenter Santiago Léon and iron-worker Isaac Léon were the principal artisans supervising the completion of the structure, leading to consecration in 1899.
In 1937 -- after much additional work and fervent lobbying in Rome -- the Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion was elevated to the status of a "basilica", a Roman Catholic church or cathedral given special ceremonial privileges by the Pope.
Inside the Basilica, the image of the city's patron saint, the Virgen de la Purisima Conception (Virgin of the Immaculate Conception) floats over the glided, baroque main altar.
Overhead, soaring rounded Renaissance domes and gilded Gothic arches create an airy and spiritual space.
The building has Gothic, Moorish and Baroque influences, reflective of the eclectic architectural fashion of its period.
The Basilica also has a unique architectural feature: its 28 stained glass windows incorporate a Star of David. Legend has it that this gesture was in gratitude for the donation of construction funds by the Mazatlan Jewish community, although a specific donor has never been named.
Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion is also home to a majestic organ built in Paris by Aristide Cavaille-Coll, widely considered one of the greatest organ builders of the nineteenth century.
Highly recommended by the Mazatlan City Guide, there is a wonderful bonus to this Mazatlan sightseeing attraction.
In front of the Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion the lush tropical foliage of the central Plaza de la Republica encloses a traditional Mexican wrought-iron Porfirian bandstand. Plaza de la Republica is an important public space, and the venue for many annual events, such as the Grito de Dolores celebration in September.
Most days of the year it's a quiet shady place, a perfect place to reflect after a visit to our majestic cathedral.
Video of the interior of the Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion
The Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion is located on the Plaza de la Republica -- just a short stroll from Olas Altas Beach, the Plaza Machado or other locations in the Centro Historico.
Location Benito Juarez and Calle 21 de Marzo facing Plaza de la Republica