A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tijuana cathedral given historic status;
clock returns to cathedral's tower
and chimes for first time in over a decade

Update, July 27: Clocks three faces all show different times

tijuana cathedral clock A plaque was unveiled Sunday marking the Tijuana's cathedral historic status and the cathedral's newly repaired clock officially chimed for the first time in a decade.

Archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz said he hoped that the faithful, upon hearing the clock's chimes, will happily make haste to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Frontera said the clock was chiming for the first time in a decade.

The clock was taken to Puebla for repairs in May; previously, different faces of the clock showed different times. The clock is to chime the Guadalupan hymn for the next month, Frontera reported. The melody selection, using a digital carillon, will vary after that. The repairs, which involved the fabrication of custom-made parts, cost an estimated 90,000 pesos ($6,650), clock restorer Miguel Ángel Garrido told Uniradio. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

Update, July 26: Clock's three faces all have different times; the middle face had the correct time, while the eastern face was a minute slow and the western face was two minutes fast. But at least they weren't like the nearby Joyeria Azteca clock, restored last year, which was 14 minutes fast.

Timeline of clock, according to archdiocese's webpage and city archivist Gabriel Rivera:

1902: Church built where cathedral stands now, according to Rivera. Archdiocese puts date around 1909.
1904: Tijuana's first Catholic church, an adobe building located in block where Canaco is now in the Río Zone, is destroyed by flood.
Circa 1905: Clock may have been built in Europe around this time, says Antonio De Carlo of Cultura sin Fronteras group that spearheaded clock reconstruction.
1925: Construction begins, but then almost immediately ends, for church expansion.
1930s: Church is renovated and expanded.
1949: On Dec. 12, Virgin of Guadalupe Day, the first stone for the new Parroquía de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is laid.
1956: Church consecrated on June 27.
1964: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe given cathedral status on Jan. 23, after Tijuana became a diocese.
Tijuana archdiocese webpage on cathedral's history.
El Mexicano story on cathedral history.

Relojes Olvera, which did the restoration work, also is to build a new clock for the new Tijuana cathedral across from City Hall. Relojes Olvera webpage (PDF).

joyeria azteca and tijuana cathedral clocks

On July 26, the Joyeria Azteca clock was 14 minutes fast, while the eastern face of the cathedral clock was a minute slow.