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Church of Cristo Rey, Portales

Photos: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Church of Cristo Rey is one of the most prominent structures on the lower Calzada de Tlalpan. For regular motorists, it seems to signal the end of the central part of the city and the approach of Churubusco and Coyoacán.

Built between 1942 and 1952, at the time, the Calzada was still a corridor of trams and street cars. The church seems to recall a futurist vision of the coming age of the motor car. Architect and Urbanist, Ivan San Martín points out the building’s resemblance to the Arte Deco churches of Auguste and Gustave Perret in France. For a brief few years in the mid-20th century, church spires took their cue from then ultra-modern skyscrapers.

The church was designed by Antonio Muñoz García and naval engineer, Miguel Rebolledo. The duo were nearly simultaneously working on the Purísimo Corazón de María Reina de la Paz church in Del Valle. But importantly, Rebolledo is credited with having introduced the methods of building with reinforced concrete that he’d studied while in France. Such methods would become increasingly influential to 20th-century church building, and later, to all construction in Mexico.

The Cristo Rey grand staircase, opening onto the southbound side of the Calzada, gives way to a magnificent interior. Far too few visitors make their way inside. The three naves are flooded with intense natural lighting from the stained glass windows. It’s among the most spectacular church interiors, and visitors are welcomed.

Ivan San Martín Córdova, 2016, Estructura, abstracción y sacralidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

How to get here


Metro Portales

Nearest at 0.32 kms.

Iglesia de la Sagrada Familia

Nearest at 0.39 kms.

Raccoon Café

Nearest at 0.2 kms.

Recomendado por CANIRAC

Mercado de Portales

Nearest at 0.5 kms.

Recomendado por CANIRAC


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