At the bustling heart of Mexico City, a cathedral is sinking slowly out of sight.?
At the bustling heart of Mexico City, a cathedral is sinking slowly out of sight. The 400-year-old Metropolitan Cathedral is literally dropping into the dry silt remains of an Aztec lake.
Government architect estimate that in about 20 years the massive building -- these days visited only by tourists and the faithful poor -- would be ready to topple into the city's main square.
This is, unless something is done.
Already the Cathedral -- a strange compendium of styles that took nearly two-and a-half centuries to finish -- has dropped several feet below the surrounding road level. And it is on a tilt of over seven feet as a result of having only partial foundations.
The cost of shoring up the structure with concrete piles is calculated at about 700,000 pounds sterling. But the Government is expected to provide the money necessary.
Some architect claim that the only justification for saving the Cathedral would be that it was historic. Architecturally it is a strange hotch-potch of styles -- the neo-classical competing with the baroque.
The Cathedral is not only threatened by its own curious self-destruction but also by the wear-and-tear imposed by its noisy and polluted surroundings.
Even if the undermining is halted, this striking expression of Spanish colonial rule must still survive the conflicting priorities of an expanding metropolis.