Mexico City

Power of Progress

Once upon a time Salisbury Cathedral in England was the world’s tallest building, I think. And to ensure that the view of this fabulous building remained unobstructed, no other tall buildings were permitted to be built near it. Even today, its spire towers over everything around it. I believe similar legislation protects the stature and status of the Washington Monument in DC.

In Mexico, there are many glorious relics of the past, but progress here stops for no man and no monument. Monuments remain. Begrudgingly tolerated by more recent concrete additions. But they are often aesthetically swallowed up like a Lilliputian in Gulliver’s land. The Angel of Independence is surrounded by towering skyscrapers.

The La Raza monument was left an isolated island by Insurgentes long ago. And today I ventured up to the tiny Capilla de la Inmaculada Concepcion, an 18th century church (map no.46). It’s managed to keep a tenuous grip on a little plot of land, with a busy road swishing either side of it, like a black river of asphalt that’s come across a stubborn rock.

It’s still an active church – when I stuck my head inside the front doors, there were a handful of devotees inside sharing their thoughts with any telepathic entity who may be listening. A statue of St Jude stands at the entrance, keeping the evils of progress at bay. Click here to see the other two photos I took.

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