The San Álvaro Church, like the neighborhood of the same name, began as part of one of the haciendas of Tacuba. For most of the colonial period it was a small chapel. Unlike most of Azcapotzalco, San Alvaro was part of ancient Tlacopan, that is, today’s Tacuba. Most areas to the north were the ancient, and densely populated Azcapotzalco. It’s a very different place.
But modern San Álvaro is a verdant neighborhood still surrounding its church. Through most of the colonial period it was a mere visiting chapel. The church is officially the Parroquia del Corazón Eucaristico de Jesus y San Álvaro. That’s the Parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and San Álvaro (of Córdoba). Álvaro is usually called Saint Paul Albar, Paulus Alvarus, and sometimes San Paulo Álvaro, in Spanish.
The nearly 80-year-old church is just down the street from the Parque San Álvaro. But surprisingly for some, it’s also very close to the Calzada de Mexico-Tacuba. It’s roughly equidistant from both Metro Tacuba and Cuitláhuac stations. The better-known Claveria neighborhood is just to the north and northwest.
The site of the legendary defeat of Hernán Cortés in 1520, along the ancient causeway.