San Ángel has long been a favorite for visitors to Mexico City. Tree lined streets spread out from a couple of important former church atriums. A Sunday art market enlivens one of them, but somehow the colonia is more than the sum of its parts.
The neighborhood began as a rural community called Tenanitla, long before the Spanish. It was later renamed for the San Ángel Mártir school, part of the El Carmen monastery. By the late 19th century, the monastery closed and the old town and religious center slowly became parts of Mexico City.
With its striking colonial architecture and the annual festival of flowers, it's long been known as a zone of historical monument. Living, breathing, even today, it's as important as many much larger parts of the city.