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Chapel of Santa Cruz, Iztacalco

The Santa Cruz Chapel in Iztacalco was built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and since 1989 has been classified as a historical monument by the National Institute of Anthropology and History. It has a facade and the altarpiece contains a cross covered in silver.

The Santa Cruz neighborhood has five buildings listed as historical monuments.1 These are the Chapel of the Holy Cross built in the seventeenth century and remodeled in the eighteenth century, the hermitage of the Holy Cross built in the late sixteenth and early of the XVII -the dome was added in the 18th century-, a house built in the 18th century and two houses built in the 19th century.

Due to its position in the middle of Lake Texcoco, the territory of Iztacalco was occupied late, compared to other parts of the valley of Mexico. Its first inhabitants were related to the tasks of salt extraction from the lake. This is something that can be seen in the same delegation emblem, which is a copy of the glyph that appears in the Mendocino codex. In it, Iztacalco is represented by a house with a filter for the separation of water and ore.

Early photograph of the Santa Cruz Chapel (from Wikimedia commons)
An early photograph of the Santa Cruz Chapel (from Wikimedia commons)

According to the codex Xólotl, Iztacalco, Zacatlamanco and Mixhuca were the last places that touched the pilgrimage of the Aztecs in search of the sign of their god huitzilopochtli. During the post-classic Mesoamerican period, Iztacalco was a town subjected to the Triple Alliance.

Neighborhood street
After the conquest of Mexico at the hands of the Spaniards, the town of Iztacalco was subject to the jurisdiction of the Partiality of San Juan Tenochtitlan and evangelized by Franciscan missionaries, who founded the hermitage and chapel in the neighborhood in the middle of the 16th century. Santa Cruz, and in 1550 a convent dedicated to San Matías in the Asunción neighborhood.2 Due to the small population of the place, the number of religious in the convent was too small.

The development of Iztacalco during the colonial period was fostered by trade through the Viga channel, which connected Mexico City with the lakeside towns of Xochimilco, Mixquic and Tulyehualco, so Iztacalco, – together with the town neighbor of Santa Anita Zacatlamanco- became an obligatory step for the vessels that were heading to Mexico City and became one of the Chinese and vegetable supplying areas of Mexico City, an activity that lasted until the beginning of the century XX.

Phone: +52 (55) 5633 4023


Amado Nervo s/n, Col. Santa Cruz.