Standing in front of the impressive cathedral welcomes you the City of La Plata. A chill, a sigh, a blinking of the eyes. Here we are and all of a sudden, we do not need anything else.
Opposite Moreno Square, there lies one of the biggest temples in the Americas. It can hold thousands of people. The almost one-hundred-meter-high façade dazzles even atheists.
Even though its foundation stone was placed by decision of Dardo Rocha, on April 30th 1884, the project of the church was approved a year later. Finally, it was opened in 1932, the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the city
, in the block surrounded by Streets 14 and 15 and avenues 51 and 53.
Following the design of the architects Pedro Benoit and Ernest Mayer, the cathedral was built with Neo-Gothic style of Amiens (France) and Cologne (Germany).
Looking is Almost Touching it
The first impact comes when you look at its front. Then, you begin to understand why each brick, each copper dome, each detail encloses a long-sought dream created by the society of La Plata at the end of the XIX century.
There is a central building and eight towers of different heights distributed on each side. Each one of them has its own meaning. The main one alludes to the Pantocrator, the biggest tower on the right to the Virgin Mary and the left one to Jesus. The secondary towers express the capital virtues: Temperance, Justice, Prudence and Fortitude.
Visitors can observe the 56 images represented on the façade and the main towers recreate the life of Mary and Jesus. The stained-glass Rosetón stands out. It is a masterpiece made up of thousands of parts, whose vivid colors highlight the fine appearance of the temple and add the necessary magic to experience something divine.
Opening Heaven Doors
The interior of the basilica is divided into five naves, whose pillars were built in flagstone.
It has three secondary altars dedicated to Virgin of Luján, the Immaculate Conception and the Holy Sacrament, while the main altar holds the throne of the archbishop.
The stained-glass windows, which gain prominence as soon as you look up, represent scenes from the Old and New Testament, thus reflecting the history of salvation.
In the silent crypt there is an even more palpable feeling of peace, since there the remains of the founder of the City of La Plata, Dardo Rocha, lie together with those of his wife.
Music from Beyond
The symphonic bell tower, containing 25 bells made by the Italian founding Ingeniero Francesco De Poli, has been one of the biggest attractions since 1999.
The carillon can be controlled from a distance with a central command or from a computer that stores up to 90 different melodies. It can also be run automatically at the time and day desired.
The traditional clapper was replaced by special supports set up in the interior of each bell which allows visitors to enjoy accurate melodies harmonizing with the calm of the place. Let yourself be carried away by the music, which, at times, seems to come from another planet. However, many say that, in fact, its origin is just from another world.
Bear in mind: The Museum of the Cathedral has a permanent display in which tools, drawings, blueprints, models, pictures and sculptures, among other objects, of the temple are displayed.