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Hermitage of Santa Cruz Atencopa, Iztacalco

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Hermitage of Santa Cruz, Iztacalco
Photo: Alejandro Linares Garcia on Wikimedia Commons

The Hermitage of Santa Cruz Atencopa is often a last stop on walking tours of the Santa Cruz neighborhood. It’s a 17th-century construction to which a dome was added a century later. It’s also easily one of the most beloved of chapels in Iztacalco.

That’s in part because it seems to vibrate with the accumulated passage of history. Santa Cruz is one of the original neighborhoods of the former island city. The hermitage was likely founded in its earliest years. Since then it has seen centuries of abandonment and re-purposing. Today it rarely sees mass celebrated, but it’s a must stop for those interested in the colonial period and its art and architecture.

Along with La Asunción Atenco, Los Reyes Ezquitac, Santiago Atoyac, San Miguel Amac, San Francisco Xicaltongo, and San Sebastián Zapotla, it’s one of seven Barrios Originarios in Iztacalco. Santa Cruz Atencopa happens to have the densest concentration of historical buildings. This hermitage is among them and not one to pass up if you get the chance to glimpse inside.

International visitors will often visit all seven neighborhoods in a single afternoon. They’re all close. Even on a slow walk, one can easily get a good idea of these very old neighborhoods in a day.

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