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San Juan Bautista Tlacateco, Tacubaya

San Juan Bautista Chapel, Tacubaya
Photo: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches on Flickr.com; Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

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The Chapel of San Juan Bautista in the old neighborhood of Tlacateco (today Becerra) is likely a 17th century structure. Often nearly hidden by the street vendors out front, it’s a national treasure. It’s one of the places that make old Tacubaya such a treat to visit. The site of the church, on a small hill, is very likely a teocalli, i.e.; ancient ceremonial site.

Built with brick, lime and sand, over the years it was ornamented with increasingly fine paintings and decorations. The current façade is believe to be the oldest part of the church. The interior and atrium have been renovated numerous times. By 1932, the stairs leading up to the atrium had completely disappeared. In 1940, another small chapel was opened on the south wall of the nave. This altered the original floor plan. By 1952, the interior of the church had been totally transformed with new ceilings and walls removed.

Today, the church is almost lost between the Miguel Alemán Viaduct and the surrounding, more modern neighborhood. The walls surrounding the dramatic multi-level atrium have been modified. Perhaps most surprising, inside is a very old Solomonic order altarpiece. This was created in the latter half of the 17th century. Within it are five paintings.

  • The “Imposition of the Chasuble to Saint Ildefonso” is probably not original. The other four paintings are dedicated to the life of John the Baptist. According to legend, the Virgin Mary descended and praised Ildefonsus for his devotion. She presented him with a special cassock only to be worn to celebrate Marian Festivals.
  • One of the most dramatic colonial structures in all Tacubaya, the San Juan Bautista Tlacateco Chapel is an eye opening place to visit.
  • The chapel shares its neighborhood with the popular Tacubaya Becerra Market. Street vendors often edge up to the entrance to the church, but guests who keep going will discover a wonderful place to enjoy lunch.

Phone: +52 (55) 5271 1306

Price: Free admission

Address:

Becerra 18, Tacubaya, Miguel Hidalgo, 11870 CDMX