Just about any landscape in Mexico will include a church, often as its most striking feature. But Mexico City city-scapes will often include four or five - or even more.
Invaded at the height of the European Counter-Reformation, the evangelization of the Americas was always among the most controversial and deepest parts of the Spanish conquest. It's proven to be among the longest lasting. For good or ill, today's inhabitants of Mexico City live in not just the shadow of a historical conquest but in many of the most striking and original aspects of that culture's art, architecture, and building.
Nearly every church in the city is a treasure trove of art. Painting, sculpture, design, carving - even what are today called installations - make up a deep part of the psyche and the look and feel of Mexico City culture. And the buildings themselves, perhaps only most obviously, display techniques, styles, and forms that reflect every aspect of Spain's own complicated relationship with history, occupation, and even colonialism.
"Mexican Baroque" is a catch all term for the Baroque that arrived here, divided, split and rejoined and formed new styles while celebrating their predecessors. Churrigueresque shares space on the same pages of historians who will insist that it's the "Ultra Baroque." Hardly a church exists in Mexico City that will be called a pure reflection of one style or another. Ecelectic is just the first in a long list of words to describe influences from the Moores to the French to the neo-Classicists and the anti-neo-Classicists.
One of the most lavishly decorated of Villa de Cortés churches, this one's interior is breathtaking.
A storied chapel on a plaza of the same name, don't miss the long story behind this one.
In the shadows of the Plaza San Lucas, a dramatic history is redeemed in symmetry.
The predecessor to San Pablo el Nuevo, today it's part of the Hospital Juárez Centro.
One of the City Center's favorite and most forlorn of 17th-Century Baroque Chapels, this one is worth the…
Like a gaunt recollection of past conflict, a hard-fought for parish stands out in its own period's harshest…
One of the most curious museums in the City Center, the history of animal husbandry and the ranch…
One of the great mysteries of the northern Centro Histórico is a wood framed church & hospital.
One of the City's most serene church interiors is on one of the most raucous of City Center…
Still a gusty breath of wind from the past, a monastery in Tacuba is as impressive as any…
One of the younger neighborhoods in Xochimilco has held on the longest to its Nahuatl name and it's…
Among the most dramatic stretches of canal, an ancient neighborhood rolls out the welcome mat.
Xochimilco's littlest historical neighborhood is among the biggest participants in the local processions.
An ancient ceremonial site gave rise to one of Xochimilco's most colorful neighborhoods.
The epicenter of the New Xochimilco, it's one of the biggest and quietest of Xochimilco's Chinampa Barrios.
There's always something see, and just 8-minutes walk from the light rail is one of Xochimilco's finest barrios.
One of Mexico City's most obvious churches is too often passed right by. Take a look.
Likely the oldest Christian church in ancient Xochimilco, it's the rugged center of an ancient neighborhood.
Looking out on the thriving market square, there's no better place for the Central Xochimilco Chapel.
At the center of one of one Xochimilco's biggest and oldest neighborhoods, it's historically, the cleanest too!
The legendary Xaltocan of Xochimilco still hosts the biggest carnival in the city.
An 17th-century chapel at the heart of Santa Cruz Anulco, it's one of Xochimilco's oldest continually inhabited neighborhoods.
One of the most beloved of central Xochimilco barrios, this one's
One of Xochimilco's most colorful, creative, and historical of ancient neighborhoods...
One of the central, charming little neighborhoods of Xochimilco's center, this one's best visited on foot.
The spiritual center of Catholic Xochimilco, it's a great introduction to the central neighborhoods.
At the center of one of Xochimilco's original neighborhoods, and as colorful as can be.
One of the northernmost churches in the City offers outstanding views to the south, and lots of adventure.
One of the oldest churches in Azcapotzalco is also the physical center of one of the oldest neighborhoods.
A chapel once dedicated to Saint Louis the King of France is today but a sentinel overlooking the…
One of Milpa Alta's furthest-flung pueblos originarios, this one is on the slopes of the Tlaloc Volcano.
A remarkable little town and neighborhood, centered around a thoroughly re-habbed and very old church.
Not one of the most visited pueblos originarios in Milpa Alta, perhaps this one should be, it's still…
One of charming colonia Álamos' most gripping works of ecclesiastical architecture... and it began as a factory.
Among the rugged hills of Cuajimalpa, one of the original towns carries on, often in spectacular fashion.
A striking lookout point in Milpa Alta is also the final resting place of two ancient rulers.
Best loved for it's wooded atrium, it's a little known temple and former monastery in the thick of…
One of the old hilly neighborhoods of Tacubaya, Becerra's not just a market but a treasured chapel too.