Fodor's Expert Review Plaza San Jacinto
This welcoming plaza with a grisly history constitutes the heart of San Angel. In 1847 about 50 Irish soldiers of St. Patrick's Battalion, who had sided with the Mexicans in the Mexican-American War, had their foreheads branded here with the letter D—for deserter—and were then hanged by the Americans in this plaza. These men had been enticed to swim the Río Grande, deserting the ranks of U.S. General Zachary Taylor, by appeals to the historic and religious ties between Spain and Ireland. As settlers in Mexican Texas, they felt their allegiance lay with Catholic Mexico, and they were among the bravest fighters in the war. A memorial plaque (on a building on the plaza's west side) lists their names and expresses Mexico's gratitude for their help in the "unjust North American invasion." Off to one side of the plaza the excellent arts-and-crafts market Bazaar Sábado is held all day Saturday.