The cemetery

home information history geography huicholes photo maps el chuzo contacts blog
el cactus get there the parish literature handcrafts video        
  where to sleep the cemetery              
  where to eat retables              


THE CEMETERY

The cemetery is one of the oldest buildings of Real. It consists of two sections, one dedicated to San Francisco and another to the Virgin of Guadalupe. In the first, the Franciscans built a chapel in 1775, when the place was called Los Alamos and the rich veins of ore had not yet been discovered nor did it have many dwellers. In that old part is the old vaulted chapel of El Descanso (the Rest), that maybe belonged to that old chapel. Now it has a neoclassical facade, built perhaps by the same architect who did the himafronte of the parish church, since it has the same stylistic guidelines: classical portico columns, entablature and triangular pediment with a niche at the center. On the wall of the cemetery near the remate (end), you can see the painted strip decoration. The entries, while similar, are different: the one for the old part has an image of Saint Francis, moreover, it is decorated with burial motifs and has dark stone around its entrance arch. This arch undoubtedly comes from a treaty in architecture. It has nine sides and implies a great knowledge on the art of cutting stone. The other facade bears the Virgin de Guadalupe; has white stone, while the other is black. Despite the century that separates the construction of both facades, they harmonize because the second took into account the constructive elements of the first and reinterpreted them with the plastic vocabulary of the last third of the nineteenth century. The two gate bars are made with high quality wrought iron work, similar to what was then done in Zacatecas. The church is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. They say it was sponsored by Padre (Father) Flores, a rich miner and priest. The large construction was reinforced by two pairs of buttresses, the south side flanks the lateral portico, and the ones on the north side are hidden by a later construction. The façade is extremely simple, strongly contrasting with the interior. The presbytery and crossing are covered by vaults and wooden roof. The dome rests on a octagonal drum and scallops in which four of the famous women of the Old Testament are represented: Esther, Deborah, Judith and Abigail. The interior surprises because of its abundant painting decorations. In the simulated painted altars architectural elements, hangings and characters are notorious. The main image, a sculpture, was added to the false altar. In the presbytery, the high altar, rich in colors, consists of a classical temple in false perspective, with a canvas of the Guadalupana in the center. It is flanked by two archangels. On the side walls, only the golden frames that once hosted the Guadalupana appearances remain, they were transferred to the sacristy of the parish. On the crossing of the Gospel some large murals of good quality painting that represent scenes from the Passion of Christ: Prayer in the Garden, The Column of the Christ, The Ecce Homo and The Holy Women with the Crucifixion in the center are kept in poor condition; the Christ, that was in the painted cross, is missing. On the other side of the crossing are painted curtains, and according to what they say, the miraculous Saint Francis, who now sits in the parish, was standing up. The Five Lords and the Souls in Purgatory, signed by Francisco Borja in 1828, were donated to this temple in 1982 by Jose Cerrillo Chowel, owner of the Padre Flores mine and of the Casa de Cantera (Quarry House). That same year a waterproof seal was applied to the deck of the church, which stopped deterioration of the paintings and murals, and the beams were also restored. In the church's pavement and atrium are the tombs of several of the most important characters of the era, famous dwellers who brought the vanguard of technological development to Real de Catorce and who sponsored the mining of the vast quantity of silver from its ore veins.

Reference: Guia de Real de Catorce, INAH

 


© 2008, Pedro Tzóntemoc

Exterior view
Exterior view

 

 

 

© 2008, Pedro TzóntemocPanoramic
Panoramic

 

© 2008, Mario Cipollini
Main altar with the Virgin of Guadalupe canvas
Main altar with the Virgin of Guadalupe canvas
© 2008, Mario Cipollini
View of the cupola
View of the cupola

 

Crown Crown Crown