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San Francisco Xicaltongo, Iztacalco

san francisco xicoltango
Photo: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

San Francisco Xicaltongo is one of the Original Barrios of the Center of Iztacalco. It’s so crooked that finding the narrow, east-oriented chapel is something of a challenge.

The 19th-century building is on a long rectangular plan beneath a gabled vault. But perhaps it’s the angel figurines that give it such a curious air.

The two bell towers are meant to imitate those in Assisi in Italy. Each has arched openings for some 12 bells. The façade presents a quarry-stone statue of Saint Francis. Inside scenes from the life of Saint Francis and still more figurines are worth noting.

The neighborhood is not one of the first that international visitors will flock too. But it is ancient as its winding streets suggest. Many parts of the neighborhood are private and accessible just by walkways that follow the old footpaths.

The San Francisco Xicaltongo church is roughly a 15-minute walk from Metro Santa Anita. It’s a bit closer, about 12 minutes walking, to the Santa Anita Zacatlamanco church and square.

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