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    Caverna del DiabloCaverna del Diablo Mazatlan, Mexico
    One of the strangest and perhaps most mysterious destinations in the city of Mazatlan, Mexico is the Cueva del Diablo or the Devil's Cave that has been a place of intrigue and doom. Legend about the cave believes the devil lives here and anyone that enters the cave is not going to come out again, ever. Another stated that a deep well lay within the cave and that if you fell into it, you would be there forever. Then there is the one about the pirates that hid inside the cave so that the people living in the region wouldn't find them and kill them; and of course there are always children's tales that continue to frighten them or each other. Still, other theories exist that believe the cave was used as a cold storage chamber for meats, fish, ice or other things that needed to be kept cold. Many of the town's residents believe that it was really used to store ammunition during the 19th century by the military that were kept at the summit of the cave's mountain to keep watch for invaders or other attacks. Another idea is that the cave had been a great hiding place for the terrified federalist soldiers in the Mexican Revolution. And the list of ideas, theories, stories and legends continue on to this day. The earliest recollected story dates back to the 1840s and was seen in the memoirs of an early Mazatlan settler that had immigrated here from Germany, Adolph Riensch. An author named Oses Cole, states that the cave is more a grotto that opens up to the sea, where Riesch and his friends would enjoy the beautiful views and fresh ocean breezes, using the open ground for bowling and during the fiestas would decorate it with candles on one side and mirrors and flowers on the other. They would dance all night and in the wee hours of the morning head home, with the musicians leaving first and then the caballeros chasing after the young women or singing short serenades in front of their homes. The cave had earned the title of the devil's lair by 1867, although for reasons altogether different than those already mentioned. It is for you to discover the real truth when you visit this wild cave by the sea in Mazatlan.

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    Immaculate Conception Cathedral  Immaculate Conception Cathedral Mazatlan, Mexico
    As in many cities of the old world and new, the most significant building in their settlements, towns or cities was the local cathedral, because they represented the ecclesiastical power, and a symbol of the economic and social standing in the region. This magnificent cathedral in Mazatlan, Mexico was begun in 1855 and would continue for many years. In 1875, Fr. Miguel Lacarra would instigate the acceleration of the construction process so that the main structure would be completed by 1880. The famous and well known icon in Mazatlan was built by Estanislao Leon, who would die before it was finished, although the towers would be started in 1893, and one finished in 1894, with the other being completed a few months later. The towers had been designed by Natividad Gonzalez, and during the construction of them, he and the current parish priest, Fr. Garcia, would have a disagreement and he would not complete it. The first masses were held in 1880, although the official consecration wouldn't occur until 1899. The cathedral basilica is a beautiful blend of Moorish and gothic architecture, that is magnificently decorated on the interior. There are big white sculptures of Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that stand at the four corner entries, and rising above all are the two towers and their outer cupola covered by yellow tiles from Europe. It is a splendid sight in the day, but at night seems to become even more spectacular with the yellow facade accented by spotlights and crosses that adorn the towers tops, lit in neon. The interior is even more elaborate, with baroque altars, crystal chandeliers, gold leaf decorated murals, Parisian organ and religious sculptures. Another reason for its fame and beauty is the cathedral's claim to be the only Roman Catholic church in the world with the Star of David shown in every one of its 28 stained-glass windows.

May 10, 2011