MERIDA The White City of Yucatan Peninsula
Before the summer arrives and the magnanimous K’inich Aiaw appears in all its splendor – as they call the sun god in Maya – we can make a walk free of hot flashes through the white Mérida. In this white talk about the omnipresence of the sun is almost a local sport. like the search for a refuge under the ceibas or the roofs of the ancient colonial buildings.
We begin the tour of the Historical Center, on a crisp morning with a clear sky. After a breakfast of Motuleño eggs. toast V butter. This time he played at the traditional Don Comelitón restaurant, one block from the central garden. but it is known that Merida (any local, any house) hardly disappoints when it comes to food. At mid-morning, it is best to take a first walk through the main square to get a glimpse of the Yucatecan’s warm and mysterious personality: you only have to see them resting in those famous “confident” chairs – designed so that two people sitting down face to face imagine that the people here have a contradictory and placid nature.On the curious disposition of the chairs, the legend says that he was the father of a girl who, jealous. Seeing that her daughter sat “too close” to the man who wanted her, she had this type of bench built so that their bodies could not touch each other. In fact, this story has been denied several times and it is known that it was a governor in 1915 who ordered the installation of the “binary” chairs – lovingly called “of the lovers” or “chairs you and me” inspired by the ‘confident chairs’ Made in 19th century France for the nobles. A good exercise is: sit down to listen to the Yucatec variation of the Spanish language, with a notable influence of the Mayan language, spoken with pride by more than a third of the population. This melodic speech that changes the sounds from “x” to “ch” and incorporates the daily use of words in Maya, should be considered as a non-tangible cultural heritage.
Baio the shade of those ceibas that little by little are dying. the Plaza Grande guides us through its peculiar architecture. more Renaissance than baroque. very different from what it deprives in the center of the Republic. Here is a religious building with great historical value: the cathedral dedicated to San Ildefonso. built in 1562, the first in all continental America and the oldest in the country (only the Cathedral of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic is earlier).
Among other buildings, in this square the Casa Montejo-old property of Fernando de Monteio and León “el Mozo”, son of the conquistador of the peninsula and founder of this city together with another hundred Spanish families- coexist. that today houses bank offices; the Government Palace. of neoclassical architecture, where you can visit the history of Yucatan through 27 murals by local artist Fernando Castro Pacheco. In addition to the tourist information offices and the Peninsular Ateneo a building built in 1575 that was the official residence of the bishops for more than three centuries, but now houses the Fernando García Ponce-MACAY Museum, where you can take workshops and listen to lectures . Outside there. of course. handicrafts. small cafes and raisins where you can buy local art and typical clothes (such as the Revolution or Pasaje Picheta). A little further north, walking towards Paseo Monteio, you have to admire the old colonial building that houses the Autopón de Yucatán University, where there is also a bookstore, library and theaters.
The Monteio Walk
It does not matter how many times Mérida has been visited. Paseo Monteio is an avenue that always looks new despite remaining classic in its layout, with its magnificently preserved palaces and mansions and a remarkable vocation for order and neatness.
In its 5 km from the neighborhood of Santa Ana in the Center to the exit to the port of Progresofluye life in spurts with its old buildings that coexist with the new 10, limes that offer art. gastronomy and other «delights for the traveler.
It is worth noting the neoclassical facades of French houses such as Casa Vales, Casa Peón de Regil, Casas Cámara or Casa del Minarete, many of which were abandoned or sold after the henequen fever, which in some time it was called “green gold”.
An obligatory stop on this avenue (also called the “Champs-Elysées” of Mérida) is the Canton Palace, which houses the Regional Museum of Anthropology of Yucatán. the Twin Houses and the Fifth Montes Molina. It can be said that Paseo Monteio starts on Calle 47, at the roundabout where there is the sculpture of the “Dos Monteios” (father and son) from where the “white city” is dominated with a great perspective, so called not only by the whitish limestone that serves as the main construction material, but for the dedication of each Yucateco.