The Emperatriz de América church is more properly called Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Emperatriz de América. It’s such a presence in its own neighborhood, Col San José Insurgentes, that the parish seems to have demanded a shorter name. Among these are the name as we’ve stated it, but also, the Iglesia de la Bola, “The Ball Church.” This is not just for the church’s form, striking as that is, but for the Parque de La Bola, almost immediately outside.
The church was designed, beginning in 1948 by civil engineer, Juan Álvarez Domenzain. He collaborated with a team of architects, Jorge Bravo and José Bordes Vértiz among them. There was also a whole team of supporting engineers too.
The client for the project was the “Augustinians of the Assumption,” also known as the Assumptionists. They trace their roots to France in the mid-19th century. The church was completed in about November of 1957. The surrounding wall was added later because of the problem of traffic in the area.
The church basement is home to a small chapel dedicated to the resurrection of Christ. But for those lucky enough to peer inside, it’s a remarkable space, illuminated throughout the day by stunning stained glass windows.
Don’t miss: The church is home to three wooden sculptures by Francisco Zúñiga. These are relatively rare examples of the famous sculptor’s Christian origins. He began working with his family carving monuments for cemeteries in his native, San José, Costa Rica, in the 1920s. He achieved great fame later in the 20th century creating some of Mexico City’s most beloved public sculptures.
Ivan San Martín Córdova, 2016, Estructura, abstracción y sacralidad, pages 115-118 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México