Merida is a 3 hour drive from Gate48 in Akumal, and is a great place to visit with your family for a taste of colonial Yucatan living. One of the stand out features of Merida is its amazing architecture, which has Maya, Spanish, French, British and Dutch influences. From museums and churches to mansions and haciendas, this city’s history is written on its structures. In today’s blog we are going to look at several places in this city that we recommend which are example of its great craftsmanship and design.
The Plaza Grande
This is located in the Centro Historico of Merida and is surrounded by limestone colonial buildings. Residents of all ages use the square as a place to meet up, with many of them heading there on the weekends for the artisan market which is held on Saturday and Sunday.
Catedral de San Ildefonso
You will find this building right the Plaza. It was built in the late 1500’s and was even blessed by the pope. You are allowed to take pictures inside so feel free to walk around inside and look at the many features, including the Altar of the Black Jesus, the areas dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the cross hanging at the front of the Church was a gift from Canada.
The Palacio de Gobierno
This building was built in the late 1800’s and is a great place to walk around. The former government palace is now home to a collection of large and impressive murals by artist Fernando Castro Pacheco, depicting the history between the Mayans and Spaniards. Once the light of day begins to fade the the building is lit up, illuminate the square and musicians often perform from the balconies. If you are there on a Sunday you will be treated to some terrific folk dancing shows which are held outside, complete with live orchestra. If you wish to grab a bite to eat you will find many kiosks selling a variety of food including tacos, tamales and grilled corn.
Museo Casa de Montejo
This place is a ballroom which hosts many galas, with many doorways made of various material such as wood and stone. After wandering around you will find many hidden courtyards, huge double wooden doors, and Dutch-influenced steeped gambles. The various arched promenades provide shade from the hot sun.
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