November 2018

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico


Sacred center in the historic heart of Mexico City

Digital laser scan in Mexico City's Cathedral, CyArk, 2018, From the collection of: CyArk
Expedition Overview
In November 2018, CyArk documented the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral in collaboration with the Directorate General of Sites and Monuments and the Secretaria de Cultura, Agenda Digital de Cultura. Citibanamex Compromiso Social supported the project. Subject to earthquake damage over the centuries of its existence, a 2017 earthquake caused further damage to the structure. Using laser scanning technology, photogrammetry, and drones, CyArk digitally captured details of the structure today. This information will aid site managers in restoration work and preserving the cathedral, one of Mexico’s most important religious and historic sites.
Interior Metropolitan Cathedral, CyArk, From the collection of: CyArk
Introducing the Metropolitan Cathedral
Built on top of the capital of the Aztec empire, Tenochtitlan, Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral exemplifies the dynamic nature of a city and nation influenced by its indigenous and colonial histories. The Cathedral complex is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico and composed of four buildings: the cathedral, the sagrario or sacristy, the Capilla de las Animas, and the Ex curia building. The expansively ornate cathedral draws visitors from around the world and remains an active religious center for Mexicans today. 
Metropolitan Cathedral Drone, From the collection of: CyArk

Drone photograph from above the cathedral.

Metropolitan Cathedral organ, From the collection of: CyArk
Sounds of the Cathedral
Crafted by Spanish builder, Jose Nassarre, the cathedral's organs emulate Spanish baroque style. Added to over time, the organs on the east and west side of the choir are comprised of seventy-one bass and eighty-seven treble registers. With two facades facing one another, the organs create layers of sound reflecting baroque influence and the power of the Metropolitan Cathedral as a significant spiritual site. 
Orthographic drawing of Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral, CyArk, 2018, From the collection of: CyArk
Orthographic drawing of Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral, CyArk, 2018, From the collection of: CyArk
Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral, CyArk, 2018, From the collection of: CyArk

Documenting the Retablo de los Reyes with drone photogrammetry inside the cathedral.

Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.

Download the data from this project.

About Open Heritage 3D

The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:

● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
non-commercial uses.

● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.

● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.

● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.

● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data

Credits: Story

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This project was made possible through the generous support of Citibanamex Compromiso Social and the following partners:

Direccion General de Sitios y Monumentos

Arquidiócesis de México

Agenda Digital de Cultura

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.