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Barrio San Lucas (Atlalilco)

The Barrio San Lucas is the site of the San Lucas Evangelista church and much of the Historic Center of Iztapalapa. Just off the Macroplaza, the temple was the main parish church of the area for centuries. It’s officially known as San Lucas Evangelista del Castillo Del Pueblo de Atlalilco de Iztapalapa. Atlalilco refers to the ancient half-town, the other one being Axomulco. Only San Lucas and the Barrio Santa Bárbara, to the immediate west, were parts of Atlalilco. The other six ancient neighborhoods of central Iztapalapa were thus parts of Axomulco.

Today’s Barrio San Lucas is especially know for being home to the Cuitlahuac Gardens, today’s Macroplaza and the very center of Iztapalapa. The church and atrium take up most of what were ancient gardens and orchards. Excavations during the 2014 remodeling of the plaza definitively connected the area to Cuitláhuac II, and his grandfather. The two are historically remembered as the final Lords of Ancient Iztapalapa.

Here, Díaz del Castillo wrote of an experience he “could never have dreamed of.” While Hernán Cortés and his men waited to meet Moctezuma, they were enchanted while floating down canals lined with flowering fruit trees. Stones from an ancient ceremonial ball court and a temple dedicated to Huitzilopochtli remain part of the collection of the parish. These are visible today in the parish offices area.

There’s also a well-known stone Xiumolpilli sculpture. Cylindrical, the sculpture depicts the bundles of reeds burned in the New Fire ceremony. It thus directly ties the parish and former temple to the ancient New Fire Ceremony held every 52 years atop the Cerro de la Estrella.

But the Barrio is also home to generations of families. While international visitors are likely to see just the core around the central plaza, it’s a welcoming traditional residential neighborhood.

How to get here
  • Barrio San Lucas, Alc. Iztapalapa, 09000 CDMX

Nearby

Bazar Iztapalapa

Nearest at 0.22 kms.

Cuitlahuac Monument

Nearest at 0.24 kms.

Mercado 5 de Mayo, Iztapalapa

Nearest at 0.26 kms.

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