|The sacred cloak (not the flag!*g)|
It was 12th December 1531 when little Juan (what other name he possibly could’ve had?) gave proof to a Spanish bishop that Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to him: his cloak showing her picture and the flowers blooming on the hill of Tepeyac where then the first sanctuary in honor of Ms. Guadalupe was built.
Now there are three of them. The first one is too little, the second one is sinking as a result of the weakness of the ground, the third one looks like a huge congress hall. No wonder, it was built by the same architect who built the Aztec Stadium and the National Anthropology Museum as well - all three of them count to the most visited edifices in Mexico City. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is even the most visited sanctuary in the world. About 20 million people visit it annually. But in the night of the 12th December people really having a blast in the city and 6 million people crowd the streets in the north of DF.
|The entrance to the basilica|
So we started our tour about 2km from where there is the basilica. That is pure luxury in comparison to where the Mexicans start their tour that can take up to weeks. There are people walking hundreds of kilometers starting from where they are living. Some are walking barefooted, some crawling on their knees.
The coolest thing is that on the way to the sanctuary there are people giving away something to eat and to drink. I love the Mexican food it is so good and cheap. And here you’ll get it for free! So after 10 minutes we had all kinds of sweets, coffee, rolls, juice etc. in our hands and were walking up De Guadalupe Street. There weren’t that much people in the streets because we went there at 8 pm. The real party starts at midnight. Just in the end right in front of the basilica it got stuffed with people wearing drawings on their back, priests splashing holy water into the masses, ambulances and speakers announcing: “Pepe from Puebla is searching for his girlfriend Carmen. Carmen from Puebla please come here to meet your boyfriend Pepe”.
|Starting the tour|
|People sleeping in front of the basilica|
Inside the basilica there is not much more to see than said cloak and thousands of Mexicans praying to Virgencita to cure their illnesses or change their life or something. And passing all the pilgrims sleeping on the ground in front of the sanctuary (ok, the winter here is not the same as in Germany. But still it’s freaking cold at night!) you’ll have a stunning view over Mexico City right from the hilltop of Tepeyac.
**Am 12. Dezember pilgern um die 6 Millionen Menschen zur Basílica de Guadalupe in Mexiko Stadt; der meist besuchten Kirche der Welt. Vania, Fabian und ich waren 3 davon und konnten auf dem Weg dorthin dem kostenlosen Angebot mexikanischer Küche frönen**