The Basílica de Guadalupe, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is second in importance within the Catholic world to only Rome.
Below is an easy-to-follow listing of the sites of immediate interest to the Basilica, and to the broader area. These are collectively known, to Mexico City residents, as La Villa, or the Villa of Guadalupe.
This entire area was known to the Mexica people as Tepeyácac. In ancient times, at the Cerro del Tepeyac, a goddess addtressed by the names Chalchiuhtlicue, Matlalcueye, and Tonantzin, was worshipped here. The area had a very strong ceremonial and religious purpose prior to any Marian sightings.
The Virgin is said to have appeared before Juan Diego on four occasions on the Cerro del Tepeyac. These had taken place only ten years after the fall of Tenochtitlán, in 1531.
In 1563, the name was changed to honor these Marian sightings. Indigenous, mestizo, Black, and Asian people from the area worked to enlarge the original temple and it continued to gain followers. The heart of the town soon grew into an entire complex of temples and support buildings for the many clergy and lay-people involved with the day-to-day running of the site.