La Profesa (Temple of San Felipe Neri)
The 17th-century La Profesa—a striking example of turn-of-the-century baroque architecture—served as the backdrop for several key moments in Mexican history. Nowadays, visitors to La Profesa can admire a reliquary allegedly containing splinters from Jesus’ cross, before exploring La Pinacoteca de la Profesa, the church’s impressive colonial-era art gallery.
Originally a Jesuit church, La Profesa is considered one of Mexico City’s most influential buildings in terms of both art and architecture. On many guided tours in downtown Mexico City, visitors can marvel over Manuel Tolsá’s neoclassical altar and statues depicting the Virgin Mary within the church itself.
However, much of La Profesa’s appeal lies in the Pinacoteca de la Profesa art gallery, which can be visited independently or as a part of a guided tour. Inaugurated in 1977, the Pinacoteca contains artworks by artists such as José de Alcíbar, Juan Correa, and Miguel Cabrera which date from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Things to Know Before You Go
Art and architecture fans won’t want to miss the chance to explore La Profesa.
The Temple of San Felipe Neri houses an art gallery known as the Pinacoteca de la Profesa.
La Profesa and the Pinacoteca are free to enter.
La Profesa may not be fully wheelchair or stroller accessible.
How to Get There
Situated in the heart of Mexico City’s historic center, La Profesa is easy to reach either on foot or by public transit. The metro stations Allende, Bellas Artes, and Zócalo (all Line 1) are situated a few blocks from La Profesa. Travelers can also reach the Temple of San Felipe Neri by private vehicle.
When to Get There
La Profesa is typically open daily from 8am to 6pm, while the Pinacoteca de la Profesa art gallery is open for guided tours on Saturdays from 12pm to 2pm. Travelers can visit the art gallery independently outside of those hours.
La Pinacoteca de la Profesa
La Pinacoteca de la Profesa is home to hundreds of artworks which span the 17th to 19th centuries. Across several exhibition halls, look out for pieces by Cristóbal de Villalpando and Miguel Carrera, as well as a depiction of the Pentecost by Baltasar de Echave Orio, one of the gallery’s oldest and most valuable pieces.
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