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The San Fernando Church and Cemetery is an 18th-century cemetery and churchyard just on the edge of Avenida Hidalgo. Of course, it’s completely haunted.
The cemetery was open for new arrivals from 1732 to 1871, and the adjoining Church of San Fernando contains the remains of the viceroys Matías Gálvez and Bernardo de Gálvez. The latter, Viceroy of New Spain, died in 1786, in Tacubaya, and was buried here shortly after.
The courtyard contains a number of other historical figures, among them, the remains of Vicente Guerrero, José Joaquín Herrera, Martín Carrera, Santiago Xicoténcatl, Francisco Zarco, Miguel Miramón and others. Still, the most famous of all, former president Benito Juárez and wife Margarita Maza, are interred next to one another.
The Temple next door to the cemetery was build by the Franciscans in the Baroque style of New Spain. Dating from 1735, the Viceroy Marquis de Casafuerte authorized the foundation of a school and church here. The missionaries bought land for the purpose on the Mexico-Tacuba road. The Reform Laws of December 1860 resulted in the school’s eviction and the church and the library were sacked. The church’s famous altarpieces were destroyed.
At the beginning of the 20th century the churches choir stalls were removed to the Basilica of Guadalupe and the remains of the school were entirely demolished.
It’s an appealing place to visit, and one that’s a frequent stop for visitors seeking a calm respite from the city, just beyond the cemetery walls. Very nearby are both the Church of San Hipolito and the Museo Nacional De San Carlos. Visits to either site can easily be combined with a visit to the San Fernando Church and Cemetery.
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