The San Bartolomé Apóstol Temple is the old spiritual center of the ancient town of Atepehuacan. It was a visiting chapel for the Franciscans from Santiago Tlatelolco. But today, it’s one of the lesser-known original settlements of Gustavo A. Madero.
Most of what we see today in the church structure is from the 18th century, though the Franciscans almost certainly built something here as early as the late 16th century. The atrium has changed like most in Mexico City, with that to the west of the church converted to a civic plaza. The church is nearly unique in still maintaining a significant graveyard around much of the rest of the building.
Like many churches of its age, this one preserves some very good examples of ecclesiastic artwork. The altar is a unusual one with four Solomonic columns. There are also, notably, a sculpture of San Bartolomé Apóstol and a painting of one of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The bell tower has had two of its three bells on loan from another parish for perhaps more than a century. In the wake of the Mexican Revolution, the parish was all but abandoned. Later in the 20th century, residents of the town worked to revive the parish, and received a new parish priest. But today the church and the town are a cherished reserve within a landscape of much faster moving communities, namely those of Lindavista to the immediate east, and the National Polytechnic Institute to the north.