This is a charming colonial village located 70 km (43miles) from Mérida
, on the road to Chichén
. It got the nickname of "ciudad amarilla"
because of its yellow-earth and white houses. This village is part
of the "magic villages
". It is the oldest village in Yucatán
. Its name in Mayan language is Itzamatul or "dew
coming from the sky". It is an important trade center in the
region. Seven Mayan pyramids were built; one of them was used by
the Spanish for the construction of the du majestic convent San
Antonio de Padua.
Anthony of Padua monastery was built on top of the Popul Chac pyramid,
using its stones. It is a true symbol : The most important catholic
monastery of New Spain
was made from the most important Mayan temple. Fray Diego de Landa
and the Franciscan missionaries needed an imposing and majestic
monastery in order to impose the Hispanic culture and catholic religion
on the Mayan people and to mark the end of one world and the advent
of another. You still can see some traces of the Mayans artisans
on some stones. By the side, in the church, you can see frescos
dating from the sixteenth century.
The convent has the biggest atrium after San Peter’s in the
Vatican. Pope John Paul visited it while in Mexico
in 1993. Every August 15th, there is the celebration of the Virgin
of Izamal. Visitors can have a ride in a horse drawn carriage in
a labyrinth of colorful streets, parks and historic places. Fray
Diego de Landa (second Bishop of Yucatán in the sixteenth
century) seems to be alive and talks about the everyday things of
this village proud of its past. By night, experience the show of
the welkin lined with the shadows of the pyramids, temples and other
big colonial buildings. It feels like you are dreaming !
Light and Sound « Voice and Magic of Izamal », in the
Convent every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:30 PM
in Spanish and Maya, with the lighted monastery in the background.
It is Fantastic!
Two blocks north from the Zócalo, the Kinich Kakmó
pyramid, built to honor Sun God, mainly excavated, is worth the
detour. With 195 m (639 feet) wide, it was one of the biggest in
On the road towards Mérida,
stop at the entrance of the village of Hoctún, famous for
its strange cemetery with graves painted with floral designs by
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