The San Miguel Arcángel Church is one of the oldest in the city. Originally founded by the old church of St. Luke the Evangelist in 1690, it was moved to the present location in 1692. The building was completed under the direction of Don Alonso Alberto de Velasco and dedicated in 1714. The façade was designed by Pedro de Arrieta who’d completed the old Basilica of Guadalupe. The two eight-sided bell towers being just one of two of the churches´ common elements.
The church is remembered for having opened a new cemetery during the 1737 epidemic. This and the work of the parish priests is believed to have been a great help during that period.
Repairs to the church in 1850 were carried out by Don José Sotero Zúñiga. He installed Neo-classical altars that were stuccoed and finished with gold leaf. These replaced an older Baroque interior. Alas, nearly everything was confiscated during the Reform period in 1861.
The façade is of two bodies. The first, includes two pairs of Ionic columns. The second, includes a relief carved in white marble with the image of Saint Michael the Archangel below an oval choir window. Besides the main altar, there are six altars on the north and south side. Next to the presbytery is a chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Pilar. Another is dedicated to St. Joseph.
The San Miguel Arcángel Church is often but a background to more exciting goings-on in the plaza. Out front, the former atrium is a popular public plaza and garden. TheJardín San Miguel has entrances to the Pino Suárez Metro Station. It’s a welcome relief from some of the City’s densest territory.
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