Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Catedral de la Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción) stands on the s. side of the Zócalo. The plans for the cathedral, one of the largest in Mexico, were approved in 1562 by Philip II of Spain, but construction was not completed until 1641; it was consecrated in 1649.
The immense building is noted for its elaborately carved facade, great doors, 14 chapels and two bell towers—the tallest in Mexico—that were erected in 1678. Among the extravagantly decorated interior's many highlights are an altar of gray onyx, marble and gold designed in 1799 by Manuel Tolsá, onyx sculptures carved by Tolsá, wood inlay in the choir, lovely tapestries and a collection of rare paintings.
The use of cameras and cellphones is prohibited inside the church, and visitors should respect those who are there to worship.