We conclude our series on the chapels of Metztitlan with a visit to the little church of Iztazacuala and its unusual atrium cross.
San Agustín Iztazacuala
Sacred White Mountain Shrine
The rural chapel of San Agustín Iztazacuala is another lookalike visita of Metztitlan, surrounded by a large walled atrium, and its tall, rectangular front capped with a triple belfry.
There is little carved ornament on the chapel front, although two dedicatory inscriptions are embedded in the upper facade: one dated1660 and the other 1746.
Another interesting element at Iztazacuala is the atrium cross, which stands atop a stepped base in front of the chapel. More elaborately carved than the other local crosses, it is configured more in the style of the Actopan area crosses over the sierra to the west.
The atrium cross, front reverse
Precariously assembled from disparate carved blocks, the upper part is cylindrical in section with an outsized Face of Christ at the axis. A soft Crown of Thorns motif is draped around the neck and Passion reliefs are carved all around, including several implements and two elongated, drippy Wounds on the back of the mossy arms.
The lower part of the cross, of indeterminate shape with spear like protuberances and crudely incised with floral motifs, appears to be from another source. Likewise the roughly carved, tilting INRI plaque at the head.
Here is a list of the churches and chapels associated with Metztitlan mentioned in this series:
text © 2013 Richard D. Perry. color images courtesy of Diana Roberts. All rights reserved
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