The Sistine Chapel of Latin America

Set up by Bishop Juan Cruz Ruiz de Cabañas y Crespo to look after orphans, the disadvantaged and old people. Its construction started in 1805 and the finished building has 23 courtyards, 106 rooms and 78 halls. From 1937 to 1939 Jose Clemente Orosco painted frescos throughout the building. In 1997 the site was declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Bishop Cabañas died with $3 pesos in his bank account.

The impressiveness of the frescos is two fold. On one hand, the murals have perspectives that moves around as you move around. On the other, Jose Clemente Orosco only had one hand as he lost the other when he was 17 in an accident playing with fireworks. Orosco’s frescos reflect his ideal that the world needs “evolution” not “revolution”.

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