The Maya History of Merida, Mexico – What I Think Makes it REALLY Special

Perhaps a lazy Saturday blog…pictures rather than words…but not really.  Merida, Mexico is a beautiful colonial city FOR SURE.  But what sets it apart from Antigua, Guatemala or Puebla, Mexico or the other beautiful colonial cities of Latin America (and what links it to Belize) is the Maya – both past and present.

Merida was built on a Mayan city.  Some of the world’s most beautiful and famous sites, Uxmal and Chichen Itza, are just outside…  (My brother took these pictures when we were at Uxmal in 2008.)


Spanish conquerors in the area were renowned for the harsh treatment of the local Indians and the destruction of the local culture.  Based on these carvings/sculptures on the old Montejo residence/current BanaMex bank, they were very proud of it.


Today, 60% of the city has Mayan heritage.  And you see it everywhere.  And now please excuse me while I go absolutely picture insane!


In cultural ceremonies…


and in the food.IMG_0657



I saw so many amazing artifacts.  Some just uncovered in the last 20 or 30 years.  Amazing, amazing, amazing carvings.  So…here are some Maya faces that struck me as particularly stunning…

At Uxmal.



At the Monument to the Fatherland built in the 1940s and 50s.  An odd Mayan/Art Deco style…2939394499_0fb39a1b6d_o

At the Museum of the Maya…so many beautiful Mayan carvings in so many styles.  Realistic and high stylized.

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And then at the gorgeous Anthropology Museum housed in a sort of neo-Parisian mini-Versailles mansion.

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Too much?  Well tough!  I have become an even bigger fan of Mayan history and art…Love it.



  • TarheelBornGal

    Excellent! I recognized a few of our shots from our visit there. Merida is indeed amazing. I loved the Maya influence everywhere.