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Pueblo Tepepan, Xochimilco

Photo: Nan.P.182 on Wikimedia Commons

The Pueblo Tepepan, or Santa María Tetepan, is one of the original settlements of Xochimilco. A remarkable and ancient town, it’s well-known because in the ancient period it hosted a temple to Tonantzin. A mother goddess, she was widely revered, most famously at Tepeyac, site of today’s Basilica de Guadalupe.  The Nahuatl name, Tepepan, means simply “on the hill.”

The old temple, and the colonial church we see today, are said to align directly with the Teuhtli Volcano at sunrise and sunset on solstice days. The volcano is about 15 kms to the south east. The Cerro de Xochitepec is much closer. Tepepan’s southernmost streets actually begin to climb the northern slopes of the mountain.

The existence of the ancient temple may explain the presence of the Fray Pedro de Gante in the area already in 1526. He’s said to have built an early hermitage here in that year. By 1650, the town had grown to include eight residential neighborhoods.  But due to its own independent spirit, the population broke with neighboring Xochimilco and eventually was electing its own governments.

Village life today centers around the Miguel Hidalgo esplanade, the meeting place of residents and multiple crooked, cobblestone streets. Todays’s Pueblo Tepepan, although small, retains much of the character of the mid-20th century when it really expanded. Favored by German immigrants, by the 1940s they’d built many larger homes here. Their giant social club is still the biggest in the area. International visitors will want to see the central esplanade and church atrium, and check out the shops in the surrounding streets.


Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México – Coordinación Nacional de Monumentos Históricos. “Ficha del Catálogo Nacional de Monumentos Históricos Inmuebles número I-09-02298 . -. Disponible en:

Dr. Luis Guerrero Martínez: Tepepan Pueblo

How to get here
  • 5 de Mayo 17, Pueblo Santa María Tepepan, Xochimilco, 16020, CDMX


Church of Santa María Tepepan

Nearest at 0.09 kms.

Casa de la Cultura "Luis Spota"

Nearest at 0.27 kms.

Tepepan Light Rail

Nearest at 0.79 kms.


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