SANTUARIO DE JESUS NAZARENO ATOTONILCO1
SANTUARIO DE JESUS NAZARENO ATOTONILCO1

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Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco

A cultural heritage site inscribed in 2008 on the list of World Heritage. The Historic Center of Querétaro is a cultural heritage site inscribed in 1996 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.. 

Just fifteen minutes away on the road to Dolores Hidalgo is Atotonilco, a small town full of history. It was from its sanctuary that Miguel Hidalgo took the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe to lead the Mexican independence movement. 

The sanctuary was built by Father Luis Felipe Neri de Alfaro in 1740, taking inspiration from the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. 

This building was initially intended to serve as a spiritual retreat house for San Ignacio de Loyola.

It is famous for its intricate architectural structure and abundant decoration, including rich altarpieces, sumptuous reliefs, freestanding sculptures, numerous easel paintings, but especially for its 18th and 19th-century murals, making it an exceptional work of New Spanish Baroque. 

Its monumental façade resembles a fortress with its large exterior walls measuring 10 meters in length and topped by an inverted arcade. Additionally, its domes reach a height of 20 meters.

The Retreat House and the clock tower are located to the south, while on the opposite side to the north, there is the Holy School of Christ.

Before the main façade, there is a narrow atrium that was previously used as a cemetery and is now surrounded by a small fence.

The church has a single nave, and to the north, there are a new sacristy, Father Luis Felipe Neri's chambers, the Rosary Chapel, the Bethlehem Chapel, the Baptistry, and the Reliquary Room. To the south, there are other chapels such as the Most Holy, Solitude, Loreto, Hidden Glory, Holy Sepulchre, and Calvary.

Its austere façade contrasts with its beautiful interior. All its walls and ceilings are covered in murals, paintings, sculptures, and inscriptions in a style classified as Mexican popular baroque. However, there are some neoclassical altars that were added later.

The murals were painted by a local artist named Miguel Antonio Martínez de Pocasangre. They were executed using tempera technique, with some details painted in oil, and their great merit lies in being a regional interpretation of European engravings from the Flemish tradition. Due to these magnificent mural works, the Sanctuary is known as the "Sistine Chapel of America."

Location

Calle Principal No. 31, Atotonilco, Gto.

Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco

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