Photo Walk Nº55 – Chimalistac, near San Angel

A haven of peace and quiet where rivers once flowed through an orchard

Photo Walk Nº55 took us to Chimalistac, a beautiful colonial part of the city with cobbled stones, grand mansions and green areas where rivers once flowed. It is so quiet and peaceful that it is hard to imagine you are just one block from one of the busiest streets in Mexico City. 

We started the walk in San Angel, crossed over Avenida Insurgentes and made our way through the wide open space and gardens of the Jardin de la Bombilla.  A large art-deco style monument dominates this area, marking the spot where President Álvaro Obregon was assassinated in the Café de la Bombilla. Rather gruesomely, the arm which he lost in battle was embalmed and kept here in the memorial until around 20 years ago, when it was finally buried and substituted by a bronze replica.

Taking a small cobbled street, we found ourselves in the Plaza de Federico Gamboa with its small red church dedicated to San Sebastian, built in the 16th Century. Repair work was being carried out as the cross on the top of the bell tower fell down in the recent earthquake. After photographing the square, we made our way along Paseo del Rio where the Magdalena River once flowed through the orchards of the nearby El Carmen Monastery and then up to see the Camara de los Secretos, a small hermitage with amazing acoustics. Around these streets are a couple of beautiful fountains and Casa Galvet, designed by the Mexican architect Luis Barragan. We also took photos of the three bridges which remain although they no longer span the river.

Back on Insurgentes, we popped into the beautiful colonial building housing a Sanborns restaurant and shop and then made our way back to San Angel with its colorful buildings and crafts shops. The Church of San Jacinto was also under repairs for earthquake damage to the bell tower and the three statues on the façade which fell down and broke.


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