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Casa del Obispo de Madrid

casa obispo madrid san angel
Photo: Nereuchispuchis on Wikimedia Commons

The Casa del Obispo de Madrid is a famous and historic house. Today it’s mostly of interest as a craft and artisan shop, although the retail aspect also offers visitors the chance to come in and have a look around. It was never home to a Bishop from or associated with the Dioscese of Madrid.

The building replaced an earlier adobe structure on the site which dated from 1631. By 1707, it had been owned for some time by the Dominicans. They sold it to a master apothecary named Antonio Fernández Méndez. It was later auctioned and purchased by the Canon of the Cathedral of Mexico, one Andrés Fernández de Madrid. It most likely acquired its name from that owner, although he later left it to his nephew, Don Manuel Fernández de Madrid. In 1728, the home was rented to the Vicar of San Jacinto, the Fray José de Araiza.

  • It’s popularly believed that a Bishop, Joaquín Fernández de Madrid y Canal owned the Casa del Obispo de Madrid. But this is dubious. He was famously banished by President Benito Juárez in 1860 toward the end of the Reformation. The result was a deep historical division as to opinions of him. Some sources say he was wicked, and others, that he was beloved and benevolent. In any case, he went to Rome and became Titular Bishop of a See in Greece. (Tenanga was a schismatic diocese which, in historic terms, hadn’t existed since the split, i.e.; The Great Schism, of 1054.)

Like much of the area, the building is a treasure and has been recognized as a monument since 1932. But guests will enjoy the Galería de Arte Popular Mexicano. Although it’s hardly the only shop in San Ángel selling artisan goods and high quality arts and crafts, it is one of the best curated.

Sources cited on this page:
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México –

Coordinación Nacional de Monumentos Históricos.
Ficha del Catálogo Nacional de Monumentos Históricos Inmuebles número
I-0013300175. Disponible en:
http://catalogonacionalmhi.inah.gob.mx/consulta_publica/detalle/10475

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