San Juan Mixcoac, offficially the Parish Church of San Juan Evangelista y Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, is a striking 17th century church. Very close to the Parque Hundido, it’s at first glance, most notable for the quarry stone facade. The same stone is also used extensively inside.
At home on the Plaza Gómez Farias, for centuries the church guarded the neighborhood’s primary source of fresh water, a fountain already visible in many of the earliest photographs.
The church is colonial in style and belies a treasure trove of important artworks inside. An oil painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe and a sculpture of St. John the Evangelist are just among the most notable. The altar piece is a essentially neoclassical, and numerous wall paintings reach nearly from floor to ceiling.
Ceilings are adorned with saints in relief surrounded by golden specks, and these are made with wood and set off by multiple impressive chandeliers.
Plaza Gómez Farias
One of the most beautiful in the area, the Valentín Gómez Farías Square is named for a memorable 19th century liberal politician. He lived on the square in an 18th century house which is today the Dr. José María Luis Mora Research Institute. A Conacyt research center, the institute specializes in history, social sciences, and international cooperation. The Mora Institute also hosts the area’s FCE bookstore and a library with an extensive book and document collection.
The plaza was also home to Ireneo Paz, the grandfather of Octavio Paz. This building is today a Dominican Monastery of the Order of Preachers Santa Catalina. They offer guided tours, and often sell food from the monastery kitchen.