NileGuide Expert Says:
You won't find anything like this anywhere in Mexico. The feeling the 24 pilasters and 12 columns give to the space is inexplicable.
2 sur between Ave. Morelos and 6 Oriente
The Capilla Real (Royal Chapel) is located in the complex of the Convento de San Gabriel
. This is a one of a kind chapel in Mexico, since no other has that mudejar feeling.
Legend has it, it was elaborated by indigenous hands and the floor plan is actually inspired on the way the Cholultecas conceived the universe. The nine naves facing west represent the nine levels that separate heaven from earth. The seven naves facing south represent Mother Earth, Chicomecoatl, whose main celebration is still part of the local culture. In fact, sometimes this chapel is known as the Capilla de los Naturales, meaning, the Chapel of the Naturals.
This used to be an open chapel (from the atrium) used to baptize the indigenous, since nobody who hasn't been baptize could enter a church, and being so many indigenous here, they had to build a really big chapel for that activity. The baptismal font on the entrance dates from the XVI century and it has a indigenous calendar cut out.