I arrived to find all the plazas and parks of the historic district closed for renovations. Old cobblestones and red brick walkways are being replaced with shining new cement. Locals are pretty cynical, but then Mexicans are used to being screwed by their government. Good timing Gov, right at the height of the tourist season which is so important to the many shop owners and artisans.
A few days ago the walls finally came down which had been hiding the Plaza Grande from view. Work goes on but at least the locals and the tourists can walk through, sit, and engage in the favorite past time of people watching. I attracted quite a crowd when I spent the morning drawing a big, beautiful laurel tree, with a portion of the Cathedral in the background.
The Catedral de San Idelfonso was built on the site of a Mayan temple (1561 – 1598), using some of the stones from the Mayan temple. Unlike most Mexican churches, the interior is not painted, as much of its decoration was stripped away during the Mexican Revolution. Perhaps because the stones are not covered, I feel the Mayan presence strongly when I sit in the Catedral.
I’m not a Christian but I always get such a feeling of peace in the old cathedrals of Europe and Mexico. The Catedral de San Idelfonso, with its bare stones from the days of the Maya, finally opened me to an understanding of the role that sacred geometry plays in these churches. They are all built using principles of sacred geometry embedded in the architecture. That energy transcends theology and dogma, speaking to all who have ears open to listen.