The Santa Bárbara parish church and the Plaza Santa Barbara form the center of the western half, called Atlalilco, of ancient Iztapalapa. The Historic Center of Iztapalapa, most of the other ancient neighborhoods are to the east, in what was ancient Axomulco. During the late ancient period it was the seat of a well-known lordship controlled by members of the ruling class.
The very north of the neighborhood was a long-established zone of chinampa-style agriculture. This eventually settled into the surroundings of the Churubusco River. Only later was that replaced by the industrial zone, and later still, by the Centro de Abastos. The map shows the division between the official Barrio sections 1 & 2.
The parish church was long a chapel of the larger parish of San Lucas Evangelista. As a parish, construction of the church we see today was completed in 1945. The façade and towers were added between 1975 and 1980.
The Plaza and Parish church are less than 15-minutes walk from the Iztapalapa Macroplaza and Zócalo area. Metro Atlalilco opened in 1994. It gave a big boost to the older neighborhood name. It’s about a 10-minute walk to the Metro Line 8 platforms.