Merida

The capital and largest city in the Yucatan, Mérida dates back to the Spanish Colonial era, with many buildings from then remaining. Laid out on a grid system, like Antigua in Guatemala, it is a easy city to explore on foot (though the footpaths are as narrow as Antigua’s).

Most prominent are the many churches around town, built in similar styles. For example the cathedral in the Plaza Grande, and the nearby rectory Jesus (Third Order). The latterly unexpectedly was much more decorative inside than the cathedral.

My favourite though was Iglesia de Santa Ana in Parque de Santa Ana, splashes of colour.

Merida became extremely wealthy at the start of the twentieth century trading henequen, used for ship ropes around the world. The clearest reminder of these times are the remaining mansions along Paseo de Montejo.

One of which, Casa Museo Montes Molina, has been restored and opened to the public.

Another is home to the nicely presented, if only moderately interesting Anthropology and History Museum. The best pieces are all in Mexico City.

While much has been lost there are still a fair number of interesting old buildings remaining to enjoy.

A totally unexpected sight was the ultramodern, if discrete from the street, Palace for Mexican Music, colourfully lit at night.

Finally as it was just after Christmas the lights were still up in the arcade beside the cathedral…

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