Our hotel in Merida is located on the main north south street in town just four blocks from the Plaza Principal, the functional equivalent of the Zócalo in Mexico City or the Jardin in San Miguel. All even numbered streets run north/south and all odd numbered streets run east/west. Thus our hotel is on Calle (street) 60 at Calle 55. Once you get the hang of the system, it is easy to find any other place you want to go and figure how many blocks away it is. The walking tour we took Sunday began in the park right across the street from our hotel and went down Calle 60 to Plaza Principal. Most of the important sites in the city are in that small area.
There is a small and simply decorated church a few doors from our hotel.The most decorated church in the area is this one another block up Calle 60. Note the two white chairs in the top picture that are attached to each other and face each other. These are a symbol of Mérida and are scattered all over the public plazas. They are unique in that a couple can sit in them and look at each other as they talk. I will try to get a picture illustrating this in a future blog.
Finally the Cathedral is four blocks from our hotel. It is also a very simple design inside, but it is distinguished for having the tallest cross inside a building in the world. That is what our guide said and I am sticking to it.
Banamex Bank is notable in Mexico for its efforts to preserve Mexican heritage. As part of their branch on Plaza Principal, they have Casa de Montejo open to the public at no charge. The home was built in the 1540’s. The Montejo’s were the “conquerors of the Yucatan”.The home was furnished with unique accessories.There was also a display of fanciful creatures carved from wood of the copal tree and painted in colorful detail by a family owned workshop in the Yucatan.
There are lots of shops to browse and plenty of Catrina dolls to choose from. The problem is they are very fragile to attempt to bring home.
There are plenty of attractive buildings. This one is presently abandoned.
The Yucatan government building on Plaza Principal featured murals of the history of the peninsula. The central theme was how the Mayans fought valiantly for many years to protect their culture from the better equipped Spanish invaders.
Wednesday we are taking a tour of a Mayan archaeological site.