The Metropolitan Cathedral was built over the course of centuries – in the period between 1573 and 1813, and it is not the first time that experts have found finds in the walls
Experts restoring the interior of the main Catholic cathedral in the capital of Mexico have discovered 23 lead boxes with religious inscriptions and relics such as small paintings, wooden or palm crosses, the Associated Press reported.
The texts on the boxes are dedicated to saints. A handwritten note was also left in one of them, which gives reason to believe that they were found in 1810, after which they were buried again.
The message said one of the boxes was found by masons and painters in 1810. The note asked anyone who found it to “pray for their souls”.
The finds were in niches carved into the walls at the base of the cathedral’s windproof lantern, which tops the dome. They were covered with clay slabs and hidden under plaster.
They were discovered at the end of December during restoration work. Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History says they may have been placed there to provide divine protection for the cathedral or the city.
Once cataloged, the boxes and their contents will be returned to the niches and covered with plaster again.
The cathedral was built over centuries – between 1573 and 1813. One of the reasons it took so long is that almost immediately after construction began, the massive, heavy structure began to sink into the soft soil characteristic of the city.
It is not the first time that experts have found finds in the walls of this temple.
In 2008, researchers discovered a time capsule from 1791 placed atop the cathedral’s bell tower. Its purpose was to protect the building from lightning. The lead box was filled with religious artifacts, coins and parchments.
One of them – perfectly preserved, describes the contents of the capsule, including 23 medals, five coins and five small palm crosses. A sign informs that “everyone is for protection from the storms”, notes AP.
Photo by Ricardo CL: