Santa Cruz Analco stands beautifully at the end of Calle Francisco Madero, actually across the street from the Barrio Santa Crucita. One of Xochimilco’s 17 Barrios Originarios, it’s one of the oldest parts of the town. Similar to the original settlements, the “barrios” are recognized by the City as some of the most important Mexico City neighborhoods.
Your adventure can begin just a few steps beyond the main cathedral on Calle Violeta. Very near the entrance to the Embarcadero Salitre, the chapel dates to 1687. The neighborhood’s got all of the crooked charm and intrigue one could hope for and the small 17th-century chapel has still more.
Heavily restored in about 1860, the choir window stands out for its sinuous Baroque framing, although restorers had obviously been looking much more closely at the Neo-classical buildings prominent in their own time.
Inside, an 18th-century Holy Burial (Santo Entierro) is of particular note for the original wood carving. The Ecce Homo sculpture, Christ as a prisoner, is said to be one of the most dramatic figures in Xochimilco for the ribs and natural teeth. This work is also from the 18th century. A Christ tied to the column, also with teeth and natural hair, and another on the main altar, known as “El Güerito,” are both made from cane paste.
Next to the Santa Crucita Chapel, a small public square is the traditional center of Santa Cruz Analco or Barrio Santa Crucita.