Merida in motion
Merida is amongst the oldest cities in Mexico (not as old as Campeche, also in the Yucatan) so there are a significant number of old colonial building – our Spanish heritage- , from Franciscan churches to stately family homes. Sadly, the “modern” Spanish settlement was built by tearing down the old Mayan temples from T’ho (a regular practice in those early days).
Having no architectural background, I have seen significant changes over the past decade. Walking around the broader downtown area, you can see how present day Merida is blending modern architecture with the buildings from the colonial times. Symbols or elements from our cultural past are present in the newer building, the most striking example is the pattern or lattice work on the new Paseo 60 building that represents the leaves of the “henequen” plant (or sisal).
Another example of harmony is the new Palacio de la Musica, for which the horrendous “modern” and former house of deputies was torn down, just behind the Tercera orden baroque church. The house of deputies lacked proportions, grace and everything else, while the new museum ensures a smooth transition from 21st. century architecture to the baroque of the 18th. century.
Likewise, the new convention center embraces a typical family home from the late 19th century and does not look out of place. Walk around the city, you will find many pleasant surprises.
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