Parroquia de la Divina Providencia (Parish of Divine Providence) – Mexico City, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Parroquia de la Divina Providencia (Parish of Divine Providence)

One of the best examples of Modernist religious architecture in Mexico City. 

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As the Del Valle colonia (neighborhood) in Mexico City expanded in the 1960s, the small Catholic chapel that served this area became too small, so the local residents financed the construction of a larger building. Designed by architects Amaury Pérez de la Huerta García and Honorato Carrasco, work on the Parish of Divine Providence started in 1968, and was completed in 1974. In the midst of the Mexico City Summer Olympics, the city was caught up in a Modernist fervor, so many buildings designed at the time followed this architectural current.

This Parish’s floorplan and appearance are somewhat like that of an open-hand fan, semicircular and defined by its 12 triangular panels that represent the 12 apostles of Christianity. Each of these features stained glass windows with geometric motifs in warm colors, a departure from the multicolored, figurative windows of many other places of worship. Another departure from traditional Catholic architecture, especially in Baroque-heavy Mexico, is its rather minimalistic interior.

The altar, located in the center of the semicircle, features a textured golden curved wall below a circular skylight which causes it to shine most of the day, with a cross hanging in front. The wall is framed by a pair of triangular structures featuring a wooden texture, making the interior relatively sober. The stadium-like seating surrounding the altar was designed as a result of a recent Vatican Council, which had determined that churches should strive to create a closer physical connection between altar and congregation.

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