Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Metepec, Mexico State, Mexico — The Central Highlands (North America)
 

Former Franciscan Convent of San Juan Bautista de Metepec

 
 
Former Franciscan Convent of San Juan Bautista de Metepec Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, November 26, 2021
1. Former Franciscan Convent of San Juan Bautista de Metepec Marker
Inscription.  

Ex-Convento Franciscano de San Juan Bautista de Metepec
A Metepec, en el Cerro de los Magueyes, antigua población del señorío Matlatzinca, llegaron dos de aquellos doce frailes de San Francisco, venidos del Viejo Mundo para evangelizar a los naturales, los guiaba el Conde de Santiago, Don Juan Gutiérrez de Altamirano, cumpliendo con su obligación como encomendero de estas tierras de acuerdo a la Merced Real dictada por el Virrey Don Luis de Velasco, 1651:

Yo por cuanto los naturales del pueblo de Metepec que fue hecha relación que va me consta como habiendo pasado por el dicho pueblo y visto el sitio donde cayó que es en como a otros muchos pueblos del valle del Matalcingo donde hay muchos indios que carecen de doctrina por ser de lengua matlacinga y no haber religiosos que la entiendan solamente el padre fray Andrés de Castro doy licencia a los de Metepec para hacer una casa monasterio morada hospedaje para la habitación del padre.

El Códice Franciscano señala a Metepec como una de las primeras cabeceras fundadas en el valle de Toluca. La iglesia de San Juan Bautista pertenecía
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
a uno de of conventos mas importantes de los franciscanos de la región. Los religiosos administraban seis poblados.

En 1585, el padre fray Alonso Ponce, visitador de la orden, escribía que: el convento de Metepec es pequeño y antiguo y está acabado con su claustro alto y bajo, así como tiene todos sus dormitorios y huerta, en ella se dan muchos y muy buenos duraznos y otras frutas de casi todas las hortalizas y legumbres de Castilla.

El convento, tal como hoy lo admiramos del lado izquierdo de la iglesia de San Juan Bautista y Santa María de Guadalupe de Metepec, es un conjunto arquitectónico de gran belleza, cuya entrada es una triple arcada de acceso al atrio, sostenida por columnas románicas. Este atrio estaba rodeado por una barda de vinuros anchos y almenados.

Las habitaciones están distribusien dos pisos alrededor de galerías que dan a un patio. En la planta baja, cada lado consta de tres arcos rebajados en el segundo piso tiene cuatro, de menor anchura y de perfil parecido.

Desde el convento emprendían los evangelizadores sus visitas a los seis pueblos que conformaban la Doctrina: San Miguel Totocuitlapilco. San Bartolomé Tlaltelulco, San Francisco Coaxusco, San Jerónimo Chicahualco, Santa Maria Magdalena Ocotitlán y San Felipe Tlalmimilolpan.

Los informes de 1842 evidencian un gran deterioro del convento y de la iglesia.
Former Franciscan Convent of San Juan Bautista de Metepec Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, November 26, 2021
2. Former Franciscan Convent of San Juan Bautista de Metepec Marker
La iglesia fue restaurada debido a la importancia que representaba para el pueblo de Metepec; esta remodelación duró casi 40 años.

Las celebraciones que se hacían en el atrio, hicieron que quedara en el olvido el valor artístico del inmueble por parte de la poblacion, a pesar de haber sido declarado monumento nacional el 6 de septiembre de 1934.

La fachada principal del convento lucía ventanas subrectangulares con barandales; éstas se sustituyeron por ventanas cuadradas con marcos de madera.

En la entrada, fungiendo hoy como oficinas parroquiales, se encuentra lo que probablemente fue la escuela.

Una puerta moderna permite pasar al interior del claustro en donde está el patio central, seguramente un jardin dividido en cuatro caminos, con un surtido de agua en el centro, fue sustituido por losetas de piedra negra. Alrededor del patio esta perfectamente conservada la arcada original.

Los muros de los claustros y quizás también del refectorio y algunas habitaciones, estaban cubiertos con pinturas. Se observan todavía a simple vista, restos de la decoración ubicada en los muros, bóvedas, arcos y columnas ya sea en forma de guardapolvo, cenefas, motivos vegetales, andromorfos, zoomorfos y pasajes bíblicos. La decoración mural, es ejemplo pictórico de magnifica calidad artistica, representativa del proceso evangelizador, es un testimonio
An interior view of the San Juan Bautista de Metepec Catholic Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, November 26, 2021
3. An interior view of the San Juan Bautista de Metepec Catholic Church
… de la iconografía cristiana del pasado virreinal en México. De acuerdo con la investigadora Maribel Alonso, el tema pictórico principal de este convento es el martirio, hipótesis que respalda en los frescos conservados, los cuales muestran santos martires. Tal temática aumenta el valor artístico del inmueble y suma la premura de completar la investigación a la necesidad natural de restaurar este histórico monumento.

Los muros del ex convento franciscano de Metepec permanecen valerosamente en pie; se niegan a demoranarse y llevarse consigo el testimonio histórico del momento crucial de nuestra historia; el encuentro de las dos culturas que son nuestras raíces. Sus elementos constructivos, los motivos iconograficos de sus tesoros - motivos indígenas, símbolos de la cristiandad de ese lejano siglo XVI - están llenos de respuestas a la gran incógnita de nuestro pasado.

English translation:
Former Franciscan Convent of San Juan Bautista de Metepec
To Metepec, the Hill of the Magueyes, a former town of the Matlatzinca kingdom. Two of the first twelve Franciscan friars arrived here, coming from the Old World to evangelize the natives. They were guided by the Count of Santiago, Juan Gutiérrez de Altamirano, fulfilling his obligation as encomendero of these lands according to the Royal Grant dictated by the Viceroy Luis de Velasco in
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
1651, which stated in part:

In respect to the natives of the town of Metepec, a topic of which I have firsthand knowledge due to having passed through the said town and seen the place, it is like many other towns in the Matalcingo valley where there are many Indians who lack doctrine because they speak the Matlacan language and there are no religious who understand it, only Father Friar Andrés de Castro. I hereby give license to those of Metepec to construct a monastery and lodging for the visiting priests.


The Franciscan Codex points to Metepec as one of the first headquarters founded in the Toluca Valley. The church of San Juan Bautista belonged to one of the most important convents of the Franciscans in the region. The religious administered six villages.

In 1585, Father Alonso Ponce, a visitor of the order, wrote that: the convent of Metepec is small and old and is finished with its high and low cloister, as well as having all its bedrooms and orchard, in it there are many and very good peaches and other fruits of almost all the vegetables and legumes of Spain.

The convent, as we admire it today on the left side of the church of San Juan Bautista and Santa María de Guadalupe de Metepec, is an architectural complex of great beauty, whose entrance is a triple access arcade to the atrium, supported by Romanesque columns. This atrium was surrounded by a fence of wide, crenellated vinuros.

The rooms are distributed on two floors around galleries that overlook a courtyard. On the ground floor, each side consists of three lowered arches. The second floor has four, of smaller width and similar profile.

From the convent the evangelizers undertook their visits to the six villages that made up the doctrinal district: San Miguel Totocuitlapilco. San Bartolomé Tlaltelulco, San Francisco Coaxusco, San Jerónimo Chicahualco, Santa Maria Magdalena Ocotitlán and San Felipe Tlalmimilolpan.

The reports of 1842 show a great deterioration of the convent and the church. The church was restored due to the importance it represented for the people of Metepec; this remodeling lasted almost 40 years.

The celebrations that were made in the atrium, made the people forget the artistic value of the property, despite having been declared a national monument on September 6, 1934.

The main façade of the convent sported subrectangular windows with railings; these were replaced by square windows with wooden frames.

At the entrance, serving today as parish offices, is what was probably the school.

A modern door allows you to go inside the cloister where the central courtyard is, surely a garden divided into four paths, with an assortment of water features in the center, which was replaced by black stone tiles. Around the courtyard is perfectly preserved the original arcade.

The walls of the cloisters and perhaps also of the refectory and some rooms, were covered with paintings. Remains of the decoration located on the walls, vaults, arches and columns are still visible with the naked eye, either in the form of a dust covers, borders, plant motifs, andromorphs, zoomorphs and biblical passages. The mural decoration is a pictorial example of magnificent artistic quality, representative of the evangelizing process and is a testimony of the Christian iconography of the viceregal past in Mexico. According to the researcher Maribel Alonso, the main pictorial theme of this convent is martyrdom, a hypothesis that is supported in the preserved frescoes, which show holy martyrs. Such a theme increases the artistic value of the property and adds to the haste to complete the research to restore this historic monument.

The walls of the former Franciscan convent of Metepec remain courageously standing; they refuse to fall and take with them the historical testimony of the crucial moment in our history; the meeting of the two cultures that are our roots. Its constructive elements, the iconographic motifs of its treasures - indigenous motifs, symbols of Christianity of that distant sixteenth century - are full of answers to the great unknown of our past.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionColonial EraNative Americans. A significant historical date for this entry is September 6, 1934.
 
Location. 19° 15.039′ N, 99° 36.215′ W. Marker is in Metepec, Estado de Mexico (Mexico State). Marker can be reached from Avenida Estado de México just east of 5 de Mayo, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Metepec MEX 52140, Mexico. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. El Paseo de la Agricultura (a few steps from this marker); St. John the Baptist Church (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); Church of San Juan Bautista (about 120 meters away); Tree of the Bicentennial of National Independence (about 120 meters away); Hill of the Magueyes (about 150 meters away); The Chapel of the Virgin of Sorrows (about 180 meters away); La Tlanchana (about 180 meters away); a different marker also named Hill of the Magueyes (about 210 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Metepec.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 10, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 10, 2022, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana. This page has been viewed 108 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 10, 2022, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=190075

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
U.S. FTC REQUIRED NOTICE: This website earns income from purchases you make after using links to Amazon.com. Thank you.
Paid Advertisements
Feb. 24, 2024