The Barrio del Rosario Nepantlatlaca is the neighborhood at the center of Xochimilco. It’s often referred to as the Xochimilco Centro and is home simulatenously to Xochimilco government buildings, the San Bernadino Cathedral and Monastery, the Xochimilco Market, and two public parks, the Jardín Juárez, the Jardín Morelos.
The neighborhood chapel (pictured) was originally dedicated to Santa Margarita Tepantlatlaca. This was later changed to the Virgin of the Rosary and hence the name of the neighborhood. Construction began in 1768 and ended in 1796. This is recorded in stone carvings within the chapel. With one nave, the façade bears elaborate chiluca carvings, and combined yellow and blue tiles. The stucco-Baroque is sometimes “Talaveresque Baroque,” with reference to the tile.
Within the chapel, the Lord of the Cane statue, carved in wood and representing Christ being crowned in thorns is especially venerated. The chapel also has space for advocations for the many Christ Child images widely venerated in Xochimilco. The chapel sacristy also guards an oil painting of Saint Christopher, a finely carved wooden closet and an antique armchair, all from the 18th century.
The Barrio del Rosario Nepantlatlaca is one of the most often explored in Xochimilco. You’re more likely to hear locals refer to it simply as El Rosario, and perhaps as the center. The chapel is less well-known, at least to outsiders. But both make an excellent escape, even it’s just on your way to the many other neighborhoods of central Xochimilco.