Photos: Secretaría de Turismo de la CDMX
The slightly crooked, and much loved San Martín Chapel is close to the heart of San Pedro Atocpan, in Milpa Alta. This is even despite the much newer and larger church for the town. In fact, the San Martín Chapel is the original Sanctuary of the Lord of Mercies. Though with the building of the modern temple, San Martin Caballero, as the chapel is formally known, takes on a more grandfatherly role. With gardens, trees, and a playground, the plaza is also famously home to the Yencuictlalpan Kiosk.
Yencuictlalpan is simply the Nahuatl place name, and thus the name ascribed to the famous Christ figure to which, today, the larger temple is dedicated. He was known, by non-Spanish speaking devotees (and thus by the vast majority of the population), as Our Lord of Yencuictlalpan.
The nearby church and monastery of San Pedro Apóstol serves as the main town parish.
The San Martín Chapel is open only on Fridays, but satisfies much of that urge for the old, and the imperfect, and the charming. A colonial building of the 16th and 17th centuries, its construction materials actually came directly from the Teuhtli volcano, its roof is made of stone and brick with an odd two domes.
The Plaza San Martín is not precisely in the center of the population, but is located next to the road that goes to Milpa Alta. A large space of trees, gardens, and the nearby kiosk is of concrete. A little hidden, on the south side of the plaza San Martín Chapel is beautifully adorned in its arch, in the pilasters that support it, and in the frieze, with the faces of angels, rehiletes, and plant elements in relief.
The church façade dates to 1560 and a pair of two-headed eagles stand out on the ledge. The simple bell tower as yet has no bells.
Several small restaurants and shops sell mole around the square and a visit makes for a fine lunchtime experience.