UNESCO Recognizes Mexican Cathedral as World Heritage Site

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These religious buildings “are emblematic monuments of the architectural model adopted by the first missionaries who evangelized the Indigenous populations in the 16th century”.

Newsroom (29/07/2021 18:30, Gaudium Press) The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added to its World Heritage List the Franciscan Convent and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Tlaxcala, Mexico. These historical buildings now join 14 other Catholic convents built at the foot of the Popocatépetl Volcano, which were declared World Heritage Sites in 1994.

Through a bulletin, UNESCO pointed out that these religious buildings “are emblematic monuments of the architectural model adopted by the first Franciscan, Dominican and Augustinian missionaries who evangelized the Indigenous populations in the 16th century”.

“The Franciscan Convent and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Tlaxcala is also an example of a new vision of architecture in which open spaces gain new importance,” it stressed.

Franciscan Convent and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Tlaxcala

The conventual complex was built at the beginning of the first half of the 16th century, between 1525 and 1527. The Diocese of Tlaxcala, with Bishop Julián Garcés as its first bishop, was created in 1527, after the conversion of the Church of the Assumption into a cathedral.

In 1543, the Episcopal See moved from Tlaxcala to the city of Puebla, although it continued to be called the Diocese of Tlaxcala until 1903. In that year, by decree of Pope Saint Pius X, it was renamed the Archdiocese of Puebla de los Angeles. In 1959, Pope Saint John XXIII again established the Diocese of Tlaxcala as connected to the Archdiocese of Puebla de los Ángeles.

Joy at the recognition by UNESCO

The present Bishop of Tlaxcala, Mons. Julio Salcedo Aquino, expressed his joy, “…for this recognition of the Franciscan ensemble and the inheritance of a missionary and evangelizing history, which is both cultural and artistic, in Tlaxcala (Mexico)”.

“This Franciscan ensemble has remained faithful, throughout the centuries, to its original mission: the evangelizing work of the Church, begun by the Franciscan Friars Minor, the sons of St. Francis of Assisi.”, he stressed.

The bishop also emphasized that he joyfully welcomed the declaration of the Franciscan Conventual and Cathedral complex as a Cultural Patrimony of Humanity and assured that he would join in the efforts with the competent authorities to value and conserve it. (EPC)

Compiled by Sandra Chisholm

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