The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta

There is something about this photograph that summons up the feeling I get when I am inside a church. Sometimes I enjoy going to a service but mostly I like the silence of an almost empty sanctuary. On this hot day in Puerto Vallarta, it truly was refuge from the busy resort. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is not a cathedral although it is often called such. Perhaps it is because of the beautiful baroque crown that is said to be a replica of Empress Carlota of Mexico’s crown.

Baroque Crown

I was utterly fascinated by Empress Carlota whose existence was unknown to me. Napoleon wanted a figurehead for Mexico – Archduke Maximilian of Austria. Emperor Maximilian married Empress Carlota (Charlotte of Belgium) in Mexico City 1864. This is a link to the Wikipedia page about the Empress which is an almost fantastical tale of the brief influence of France on Mexico.

church side door

Mexico has held me fascinated since I discovered that many generations of my Ortega family lived in various states of Mexico. Until recently I didn’t think I had any connection to the state of Jalisco (in which Puerto Vallarta is) until I found an ancestor on Familysearch, Felipe de Jesús Quintero Rosas who was born in Poncitlàn in the late 1600s. Don’t Spanish names sound so romantic? I now regret my haste to get rid of mine when I married. I so longed for an ordinary Scottish name so I could blend in. Only as you mature, do you realize how important your uniqueness is.

When I moved back to the USA over a decade ago, I was slightly surprised that there were so many Spanish speaking Protestant/Evangelical churches in Texas. Somehow I thought they would all be Roman Catholic. This car in Puerto Vallarta amused me…😇


14 thoughts on “Sanctuary

  1. I’m the same with churches. I’m sure it’s a childhood thing, since we went to church a lot when I was a kid. There is something very peaceful about churches. What you wrote about Mexico, that’s Hungary and France for me. I wasn’t too keen about those parts of my heritage, but now I embrace both sides fully.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The feeling that the first pic evokes is just wonderful , Kerry! I love it! What a beautiful church, I can very well imagine sitting there, enjoying the relative coolness of the place compared to the outside and the soft light that comes in through the windows…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What beautiful photos Kerry .
    I too visit churches when sightseeing in cities and light a candle for someone sick or passed.
    I think there is something spiritual in us all and I find sitting in a church as such very peaceful

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda. Your response reminded me of when my mum died on Aberdeen. My lovely next door neighbor wanted to cancel their holiday to Malta to attend the funeral. I insisted they go but perhaps they could light a candle for her in Malta. I doubt these coastal Protestants had ever set foot inside a Catholic church but they bravely did so. There was some misunderstanding with the priest and they thought he asked for around $20. The husband was about to say no but the wife insisted that this was for Kathleen. The priest burst out laughing because it was about 20 cents. I bet my mum was laughing her head off in Heaven. 😇


  4. Oh those pesky Napoleons and their plans for world domination .. nothing if not determined and nothing if not devious! The crown on the tower is fantastical, the interior seems serene which is surely what a church should always be but actually they often just aren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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