YUCATÁN | Mérida 

June 2022. Although I have been in Mexico before, the last time was in 1994-1995. Twenty-seven years later, Oriol and I are doing a classic tour of the United Mexican States, featuring Mexico City (CDMX); Palenque in Chiapas; Villahermosa in Tabasco; Uxmal, Mérida, Chichen Itza, Ek’ Balam, Valladolid,  and a few cenotes (waterholes) in Yucatán and Tulum in Quintana Roo. We returned via Cancún to CDMX and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Mérida letters

Mérida is the capital of Yucatán, and the largest city on the Yucatán Peninsula. The city is located in the northwest part of the state, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

The metro area population, which includes Umán Municipality, Kanasín Municipality, and Mérida Municipality, has a population of 1,201,000. 

We chose Mérida as a base to go to Uxmal.

Brief history

Mérida was founded in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo y León, ‘El Mozo”, son of Francisco de Montejo y Álvarez, ‘El Adelantado’ and named after the town of Mérida in Extremadura, Spain. It was built on the site of the Maya city of T’hó.

Carved Maya stones from ancient T’hó were used to build the Spanish colonial buildings which are numerous in downtown Mérida; these stones are visible, for instance, in the walls of the main cathedral. 

Much of Mérida’s architecture from the colonial period through the 18th century and 19th century is still standing in the centro histórico of the city. 

From colonial times through the mid-19th century, Mérida was a walled city intended to protect the Peninsular and Criollo residents from periodic revolts by the indigenous Maya. Several of the old Spanish city gates survive, but modern Mérida has expanded well beyond the old city walls.

Late in the 19th century and the early 20th Century, the area surrounding Mérida prospered from the production of henequén, a type of agave. 

For a brief period, around the turn of the 20th century, Mérida was said to house more millionaires than any other city in the world. The result of this concentration of wealth can still be seen today. Many large and elaborate homes still line the main avenue called Paseo de Montejo, though few are occupied today by individual families. Many of these homes have been restored and now serve as office buildings for banks and insurance companies. 

Korean immigration to Mexico began in 1905 when more than a thousand people arrived in Yucatán from the city of Incheon. These first Korean migrants settled around Mérida as workers in henequén plantations.

By the beginning of the 1900s manufacturing activities were mainly soap, tobacco products, leather, soap, molasses, and rum.

Mérida has one of the largest historic centres in the Americas, surpassed only by Mexico City and Havana in Cuba. Colonial homes line the city streets to this day, in various states of disrepair and renovation; the historical center of Mérida is currently undergoing a minor renaissance as more and more people are moving into the old buildings and reviving their former glory.

In June 2007, Mérida moved its city museum to the renovated Post Office Building next to the downtown market. The Museum of the City of Mérida houses important artifacts from the city’s history, as well as an art gallery.

A visit

We didn’t have much time in Mérida, but luckily Gabriel drove us around so we could get a taste. We did walk around a bit, but we can’t say we know the city. 

We díd see how the colonial past is preserved and cherished. There are some pretty mansions there. 

Mexico 2022

  1. REVIEW | KLM Amsterdam Schiphol to Mexico City on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in economy.
  2. MEXICO CITY | Zócalo.
  3. MEXICO CITY | Templo Mayor.
  4. REVIEW | Hotel Carlota in Mexico City.
  5. MEXICO | Teotihuacan.
  6. MEXICO CITY | National Museum of Anthropology or Museo Nacional de Antropología.
  7. FORMULA 1 MEXICO CITY GRAND PRIX | Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
  8. MEXICO CITY | Museo Nacional de Historia at Castillo de Chapultepec.
  9. MEXICO CITY | Frida Kahlo Museum.
  10. MEXICO CITY | Coyoacán.
  11. Mexico City 2022.
  12. REVIEW | Mexico City – Villahermosa with Volaris.
  13. MEXICO | Palenque.
  14. REVIEW | Hotel Zyan Rooms in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico.
  15. MEXICO | Villahermosa in Tabasco.
  16. REVIEW | Aeroméxico Villahermosa – Mexico City – Mérida on Boeing 737-8 MAX.
  17. YUCATÁN | Uxmal.
  18. REVIEW | Casa Chaká Boutique Ka’an Room in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. elvira797mx says:

    Wonderful post! Yucatan is so beautiful place!
    Thank’s for share, Timothy.
    Have a great start of the year!
    Elvira

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      Thank you Elvira.

      Indeed, Yucatan is a wonderful place.

      Have great 2023.

      Timothy

      Like

      1. elvira797mx says:

        Exactly, Timothy.
        Thank’s!
        You as well

        Liked by 1 person

  2. pedmar10 says:

    Yes indeed many colonial homes are offices today but the north east towards Islas shopping mall is very chic that is where my family lives you think you are in Miami! lol! Nice pictures indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      Aha! Unfortunately we didn’t have much time in Merida to explore further.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pedmar10 says:

        Always a first and then more …Cancun Progreso Valladolid and even further south is like tahiti bacalar especially in Quintana Roo. You get the idea. Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

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