The Plaza de Santa Veracruz is just across the street from the Alameda Central. It’s the one-time atrium of the Santa Veracruz church and a more peaceful and relaxing square than many others of its size and kind in the city. The plaza is best-known today as the Saturday’s meeting place for booklovers, bibliophiles, and collectors. It’s used primarily as a neutral meeting point for exchanges of books and documents sold through online auctions.
For a more thorough history of the plaza, see the entry on the Santa Veracruz church. The plaza is today also your first stop on your way into the Franz Mayer Museum and the National Printmaking Museum.
The church of San Juan de Dios, to the north of the plaza, is the chapel of the Hospital de los Desamparados. This was run by the monks of the Order of San Juan de Dios since 1604. They housed the General Commissioner of the Provinces of the Indies. He was charged with visiting all of the convents of New Spain. But nearly all of the hospital orders of monks were suppressed in the late 18th century, and after the monks were forced out, the church was opened to the public.
Today, it provides a dramatic backdrop to the Plaza de Santa Veracruz, though it’s one of two churches converging there. Be sure to see our listings of all the things there are to see and do in the Alameda Central area.