A Pilgrimage to the Templo Mayor


Built upon the bones of the Templo Mayor the Metropolitan Cathedral sprawls out in baroque splendor. It is a wondrous complex of buildings, unmistakably the Church of Rome, yet a distinct synthesis of western aesthetic values and the indigenous spirit. This magnificent structure is adjacent to what remains of the great Aztec temple.

The Templo Mayor complex is a strange sight, a raw brutal testament to what was, it remains defiant against these new usurping gods.

I was thrilled by it all, the old and the new gods.


Art by Roberto Cueva Del Rio

I’m not going to be able to identify all that I post, I simply could not keep up with the wealth that was offered- you must go and experience the richness for yourself.



The museum sits in the shadow of the cathedral, please note this is the least magnificent aspect of the facade, just its side profile. Stunning and exhilerating architecture, clearly formally orchestrated yet organic.

P1000270 Exterior remains popping up amidst Colonial order.


Skull rack- too pooped to look up the proper name-sorry for that.

The interior collection follows:

IMG_4244Eagle Offering Vessel-Cuauhxicalli


the fearsome Xipe Totec


a delightf ul Bat God, over life size, as is the Xipe above.

The following are Temple figures found in the ruins, a little under life size. I find them particularly intriguing, on par with Archaic Greek sculpture.





If the above figures were monumental, this crumbling fellow was small and portable yet still conveying power. The following few are all roughly fist sized.


I love this guy.


He was a little over a foot if I remember correctly.

If one sought rain, the Templo Mayor offered a plethora of Tlaloc  and Chac idols.





As I began with a black Old God, I will conclude with a New God, also black, also beautiful.

This Christ greets you as you enter the Metropolitan Cathedral. His painful wounds gush with crimson brocade ribbons. It is a wonderful spectacle. I love the fan at his waist.


That is it for now, have a lovely weekend.

Be well,


Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

8 thoughts on “A Pilgrimage to the Templo Mayor”

  1. My visit to the cathedral moved me to tears. Seriously, I ended up sitting on the steps weeping. My friends were most concerned! What got to me was the endless stream of humanity, praying for help, begging forgiveness…It was overwhelming! I’m not a Catholic, or even a Christian, but I couldn’t help but empathize. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

    1. I agree, I envy their faith. What I do possess however if I do not have faith is a deep love and reverence for art inspired by conviction . A blind man can see the love and reverence put into every detail. As you know I love excess, take comfort in it, this was heaven to me.

  2. Some of these images are going to stay with me for awhile—I love the one-eyed figures, as if they couldn’t retire their eyes completely, but keep one eye on us out of curiosity to see what we humans will do. My favorite, by far, is the little wide-eyed obsidian man, sitting atop gravel—I so want to hold him in my hands.

    I’m hoping the bat-god appears in my dreams. I really want to know what he has to say.

    Thanks for posting all these pictures. I really can’t wait to see how this experience works itself through into your art.

    1. My dear friend. I love your insight about the one -eyed figures. I hadn’t reflected as to why I was so drawn to them but you are correct, they are such stalwart guardians. The small stuff is so tactile, damn that vitrine, the smooth cool stone beckons.
      I hesitate to invite the Bat God to dreamland but he is fiercely wonderful and I hope he influences some future work.
      Must get back to painting, I’m muddling through some ideas, muddling is the best way to describe it as I haven’t yet found a clear path. I just have to be comfortable with the ambiguity I suppose.
      Love to you my friend,

  3. what an immense post, full of treasures!!! i am in love with so many things here…that bat god, amazing. and i had never heard of the artist roberto cueva del rio, but i am absolutely floored by that painting–the many different layers of worlds, the black and white figure, the perspectives….wow!!. and the eagle offering vessel also, but the architecture, too….on and on. thank you so much for these photos!!

    1. Oh you are welcome my friend
      I have so many more images but I fear boring folks ; obviously this work moves me deeply, I’m still soaking it in
      The painting I just stumbled upon, I love it as well but I nothing of the artist , must look into his work
      The Bat God is haunting me and will hopefully manifest himself somewhere .

  4. Did you happen to see the stone for Coyolxaliqui (sp) I think I am missing an h somewhere in there! The moon goddess? I notice she’s in the art piece by R. Cueva. I seriously regret not going to Templo Mayor or the museum. UGH! I’ve spoken to Bevan about it and hopefully we will returning next year. Your pictures and descriptions are awesome. I love how much you love this culture!

    1. Yes, we did a must for me.
      I’m working on a painting inspired by that creation narrative .
      We are planning on returning next year as well, let’s try to do so together
      Until then, drinkies.

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