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Convent of Churubusco

Coyoacan / Images of Coyoacan / Attractions of Mexico City

Neighborhood: Coyoacan
Address:  20 de Agosto corner General Anaya
Metro: General Anaya
Opened: Every day from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.

Hidden amongst the trees of a quiet neighbourhood in the centre of Coyoacแn, the Ex-Convento de Churbusco still retains the markings that cannon fire inflicted on its walls in a mythical battle of the Mexican-American war; these walls stand proudly to this day, as witnesses of the history and as guardians of one of the most important spaces in national memory.

The Convent of Churubusco, word that comes from the nahuatl “Huitzilopochco” which means “place of the temple of Huitzilpochtli”, dates back to the beginning of the 16th Century, when a group of Franciscan missionaries established an evangelisation centre at the site of a former  pre-Hispanic populace that dated back to the year 1065 A.D. The missionaries used, as in many other similar cases, the rocks from the pre-Hispanic temples to build their diverse religious spaces, in this case resulting in the temple dedicated to the worship of Santa Marํa de los Angeles. Years later, the convent passed onto the hands of ‘Dieguino’ missionaries, also known as barefoot Franciscans who, with the passing decades and thanks to several financial donations, improved the old facilities and added new spaces. The complex is made up of a chapel, an area of bedrooms, a cloister (protected to the north with an orchard of fruit trees); three interior patios, and to the south, more orchards and another patio, all of which facilitate the convent’s illumination and ventilation. 

During 1847, in the middle of the American intervention, the convent was considered a strategic site and so became an important base of operations for the city’s defence, nevertheless, on august 20th 1847, this convent became the stage for a cruel battle, in which the Mexican troupes fought side by side with the famous St. Patrick’s Battalion,  fact that forever bonded Mexico to the Republic of Ireland.

Later on, after the nationalization of the clergy’s property, the convent passed on to the Mexican government and finally, after years of abandonment, it was turned into the National Museum of the Interventions; opened in 1921 and displaying objects of great historical value from the various invasions the country suffered during the 19th Century, it submerges the visitor into Mexico’s passionate history.

One can also learn about the daily life of the religious orders of the ‘New Spain’ and get to know the buildings in which they lived, as well as other noteworthy spaces like the Temple of San Diego, which houses a splendid baroque altar, and the many patios and gardens which transport us to the past. There are also many artistic and cultural representations which take place throughout the year, taking advantage of the wonderful historical stage in which they are showcased.

The entrance to the museum costs 30 pesos and is free on Sundays. The temple is gratuitously open to the public everyday.
















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