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Ermita del Calvario, the Calvary Chapel, was built between the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, it may appear as a rustic wedding chapel. Its primary claim to fame is as a lookout point from which you can see nearly the entirety of the Milpa Alta Valley, and especially the town of Tlacoyucan immediately below.
This lookout is thought to have served as an ancient observatory, and for gazing at the skies, too. It’s well regarded as one of the most important from the ancient world.
Locally, it’s also a very important monument for bearing the tombs of the last two Tlatoanis, that is, the final two rulers of ancient Malachtépec, the altépetl (city state) that preceded Milpa Alta. The little chapel is built with stones recovered from the tomb of the penultimate ruler, Hueyitlahuilanqui, and contains both his and his son’s remains. The son, Hueyitlahuilli, took charge after the death of his father in 1484. He decided to submit to Spanish rule in 1528 and died the following year.
The Calvary Chapel and viewing platform is just one point of interest in larger San Lorenzo Tlacoyucan. A rugged hillside pueblo originario, it’s set in one of the City’s most striking natural landscapes. The food is magnificent, and the people are too.