Santisima Trinidad Temple, Temple of the Most Holy Trinity is usually referred to today simply as “Santisima.” It’s an iconic church in the middle of some of the oldest, noisiest areas in the Centro Histórico. Grandiose and magnificent, it’s good place for a break from the urban chaos. The churrigueresque facade is breathtaking. Said to have been a favorite of the Empress Carlota in the 1860s, that’s not just for the architecture but for the details and ornamentation of the facade that continues well inside.
The history of the temple goes way back to 1526. The site is said to have contained a small hermitage or chapel sponsored by an early tailor’s guild. It was used to celebrate religious holidays and to receive young aspiring tailors.
In 1569, after a rebuilding, a group of nuns of the Order of Santa Clara occupied the chapel and stayed there for some ten years. When the nuns finally left, it was recovered by the tailor’s guild now collaborating with the monks from the Brotherhood of San Pedro.
Next to this smaller existing chapel, they began building a hospital-hospice to shelter the destitute. Construction started in 1580. This church, though, was not consecrated until 1667. During the last decades of the 17th century through to today, that very temple has gone multiple renovations and rebuilding processes. A lot of them have been due to the always sinking and subsiding city.
In the 19th century alone, the temple sank some three meters. A group of architects again began excavations and reconstruction in 1924. And the temple was fully unearthed in the 1980s and again restored to the building that can be appreciated today.
The Santisima Trinidad Temple is again remarkable. Perhaps most impressive is the hard gray stone entryway, flanked by its two pillars. 12 medallions done in relief represent the apostles. Among the columns are ten sculptures, five of which represent bishops, four represent popes, and one represents a priest. Everything is so detailed that you can spend a lot of time pondering its many elements and particularities.
The Temple of the Most Holy Trinity is very near the La Merced neighborhood. One of the most traditional and representative parts of the center city, today it’s most famous for the gigantic and always fascinating Merced Market.
Monday through Sunday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Merceditas Temple was once the church on the old road to Chapultepec.