Our Lady of Guadalupe Church: Puerto Vallarta's icon
Standing proudly over the City’s oceanside central plaza, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, with it’s famous crown is the focal point of the Vallarta skyline. It is a symbol of Puerto Vallarta known throughout the world. It is also the focal point for the famous Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is a beautiful example of local architecture and an embodiment of local spirit. It is a unique combination of several architectural styles. On the hour you can hear the magnificent sounds of the Church bells ringing from the tower. Upon entering the Church, you are struck by its splendid simplicity and the air of calm that it bestows on visitors. The plain, white-washed walls are dramatically embellished with richly detailed moldings. On a sunny day - which is most of the time in Vallarta - the sunlight shines through stained glass windows to illuminate the gilt-trimmed altar with a warm glow. During the Christmas Holidays, the Church’s hand carved columns are adorned with festive wreaths. No matter what your heritage, the solemn beauty of Our Lady of Guadalupe will touch you in a special way.
Construction of the Church started in1903 around a small chapel that was already there. In 1915 the decision to build a larger church was made. Due to a number of intervening issues including a war which stopped the building for a time, the main tower was not completed until 1952 and the original church crown wasn’t installed until 1963. Rumor has it that the crown is a replica of the tiara worn by Carlota, mistress of Emperor Maxamilian in the 1800’s, but she’s definitely not telling!
La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, as it's known by locals, is open daily. English services are held on Saturdays at 5 p.m., and Spanish and English mass takes place every Sunday at 10 a.m. The bells ring 30 and 15 minutes before each mass.