The Plaza San Jacinto is a remarkable public square behind (east of) the west-facing San Jacinto Church. The church also preserves an atrium on the other side. It’s a dynamic and wide-open area even despite the surrounding crooked streets and cobblestones. Best loved for the Saturday Art Market, it is also the type of plaza reminiscent of those in much smaller towns. Generally quieter than any in the surrounding town, it’s a popular neighborhood park and a destination for visitors heading to any of the nearby restaurants, art galleries and regular gathering places.
As the center of the town that emerged here in the 16th century, the Plaza San Jacinto shares many of the same stories as the church, convent and orphanage that for years made up the heart of the local community. Today, the artisan market can recall at least part of that history.
For a deeper understanding, head to the Casa del Risco. Right on the Plaza, it houses an enormous amount of not only ecclesiastical art, but also many of the finest examples of local craftsmanship.
The plaza also commemorates the heroic San Patricio Battalion. Made up of Irish immigrants, they supported the Mexican army during the U.S. invasion of 1847. The soldiers were quartered in the Casa del Risco, and the same building was used as a hospital during the many weeks of bloody fighting in battles for control of Mexico City.