The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was consecrated in 1649, although construction began in 1575.
Among the works of art in the Cathedral of Puebla are signed names such as Manuel Tolsa, Luis Lagarto and his choir books, Baltasar de Echave and Luis Berrueco who embellished the Sacristy, Cristóbal de Villalpando who painted the dome, Pedro Muñoz who made the choir stalls, among others.
However, the Altar of the Kings, which for its unparalleled beauty, is one of the most seen attractions inside the Cathedral.
The altarpiece was designed in 1646 at the request of Bishop Palafox. The chapel was projected by the Spaniard Juan Martínez Montañés and the main altarpiece of Solomonic Baroque style was the work of master Lucas Méndez under the direction of the Spanish architect and painter Pedro García Ferrer, and inspired by a sketch of Sebastián de Arteaga, it was consecrated on April 18, 1649.
Its name comes from the fact that the images of canonized kings and queens are depicted in its lateral niches. The Altar of the Kings is composed of a main altarpiece, two side altarpieces, the tabernacle and is crowned by a dome on pendentives, painted by Cristobal de Villalpando in 1688.
The painting of the dome was commissioned by Bishop Manuel Fernández de Santa Cruz, and is one of the few tempera paintings preserved in Mexico. It represents the Eucharist, amid figures of vivid colors that resemble the paintings made by the great Italian masters of the seventeenth century.
The pendentives were decorated with images of the four Jewish heroines: Judith, Ruth, Esther and Jael.
Cristobal Villalpando is considered the most important painter of the second half of the 17th century in New Spain.
In the center, in the first painting, is the image of the Virgin of Pilar, known as "the Conqueror" because she accompanied the Spaniards during their expeditions.
Also on the altar are the paintings: the first one the Purest Conception, the Adoration of the Magi and the Adoration of the Shepherds.
The fourth body and auction is composed by the oil painting of the Coronation of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Trinity.
In the central space is the second and third body with Solomonic columns, with the oil painting of the Assumption of Mary, on the left side is the image of Edward the Confessor and Ferdinand III of Castile; on the right side Helen of Constantinople, mother of Emperor Constantine, and Margaret Queen of Scotland.
The first body shows the sculptures of Louis IX of France and Saint Elizabeth Queen of Hungary.
In the middle part is the tabernacle in whose glass niche is the image of Our Lady of Defense and next to it two oil paintings: the birth of the Child Jesus where is represented IX bishop of Puebla Juan de Palafox y Mendoza and the adoration of the Holy Kings.
All the paintings of this altar, with the exception of the dome, were made by Pedro García Ferrer.
Translation done by: Karla Giselle Bonales Ramírez