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San José de Gracia

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San José de Gracia
Photo: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Former Convent of San José de Gracia is today the Cathedral of the Anglican Church in Mexico. It’s easy to pass by on narrow Calle Mesones in the city center, but the church is of a curious and deep history.

Once part of a group of Conceptionist nuns, their organization began in 1610. It was originally a retreat for married women and widows dedicated to Santa Monica and occupying a few houses in the area. The Temple we see today was begun in 1653 and dedicated in 1661.

The convent, the living quarters, were later taken over by the Ministry of War. The Maximiliano government then used the structure as a military barracks. Shortly thereafter, the temple was purchased by the Anglican Church, and they eventually carried out a major renovation, though only in 1987.

As a former women’s convent, the temple still has the telling double entryway. These are on the north side of the single nave. They’re surrounded in elaborate carved quarry stone. The design shows conventions very popular during the latter half of the 17th century.

Sources cited on this page:
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México –

Coordinación Nacional de Monumentos Históricos.
Ficha del Catálogo Nacional de Monumentos Históricos Inmuebles número
I-09-02042 . -. Disponible en:
http://catalogonacionalmhi.inah.gob.mx/consulta_publica/detalle/12049

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