Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles is one of the most famous churches in Mexico City´s Guerrero neighborhood, and chiefly responsible for the sub-colonia within. This section of Guerrero includes the Salon Los Ángeles, and therefore, much of the lore and history of the area.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Los Angeles dates back to 1580. In that year, a devastating flood struck the city, and as the waters receded, a strongman named Izayoque, essentially the ruler of the neighborhood, then called Coatlán, discovered a beautiful canvas in the rubble. It was an image of the Virgin. Venerating the painting, he is said to have built a small adobe oratory to house her. Because it was damaged, he had it copied onto the wall. It became known as the Assumption of Izayoque. Within a few years the image drew such crowds and devotion that the Archbishop Alonzo Fernández de Bonilla ordered the erection of a public chapel to replace the oratory.
By the 18th century, that chapel was in such disrepair that it underwent several renovations. Most of these can be credited to the devotion the image still inspired. Finally in 1777, the first stone of this new church was laid. Then that project was cancelled and the neighborhood fumed. In 1804, the 1777 project was significantly modified and construction carried-on until 1808.
Though opened to the public, the dome and facade would later be modified. The temple’s famous 16-meter dome was finally finished by Emilio Dondé Preciat between 1885 and 1890. He was simultaneously working on the far more Gothic Templo Expiatorio Nacional de San Felipe de Jesús on calle Madero today.
The carved stone Virgin of Los Angeles on the facade is the of the work of Federico E. Mariscal.