The Santa Cruz Atencopa Chapel in Iztacalco was built between the 17th and 18th centuries. The old barrio of Atencopa predates the arrival of the Spanish and likely dates from the earliest times on the island. According to tradition, Iztacalco was founded in 1309.
Since 1989, the chapel has been classified as a historical monument by the National Institute of Anthropology and History. Iztacalco residents have probably treasured it for much longer. One of the oldest religious buildings in the City, it’s a suitable destination for those looking into Iztacalco’s wonderful walking environment.
This chapel likely originated when the indigenous residents of the community made regular Holy Thursday processions dedicated to Santa Cruz, i.e.; the Holy Cross. They would have begun at the parish Church of San Matias. Just around the corner from here, the old Hermitage of Santa Cruz Atencopa shares a similar history. The two chapels are considered among the finest examples of colonial era architecture.
Together, the Santa Cruz chapels are often visited together. Many visitors will try to get to seven of the central Iztacalco “barrios originarios.” This can be achieved in a single afternoon. They’re all exceedingly close together and the walk is comfortable and interesting at every turn.