built in the late 1500s on the top of a platform which formerly contained one of the Maya temples of the ancient city of T'ho.
In the 16th Century, the Santa Ana neighborhood--then a separate village--was filled with the Maya craftsmen and laborers. They were the builders of many of the colonial structures of Old Mérida. In addition, the farms in the area (long since built over) became the pantry for the colonial city.
Nicknamed "el Manco" (the one-armed), he ordered the building of a road leading straight to the north from the Ateneo Peninsular (Bishop's Palace) at the Plaza Grande. The road, now called Calle 60, passed through the Maya village where the original Santa Ana church was located. El Manco also ordered the present church built and construction was begun in 1729 at the site of the original one.
panuchos y salbutes.
The Restoration of Old Mérida
Parque Santa Lucia where musicians and dancers regularly perform the Senenata Yucateca. Crafts booths are set up in the park on Sundays when the street is closed to vehicle traffic. Parque Santa Lucia, also called Parque de los Héroes, used to contain the facilities of a brotherhood devoted to healing the ill, and the park itself was created in 1804 by official decree.
Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). This national university has branches all over Mexico. Much of the finest and best-preserved examples of Mexico's architectural heritage now function as government offices, museums, schools, and universities.
Amate Books is connected to the original bookstore in Oaxaca. The store occupies yet another restored colonial building, and specializes in English-language translations of Mexican and Latin American works on art, history, architecture, anthropology, and also many works of fiction. The store is located on Calle 60 at Calle 49. The bark of the amate tree was used, among other things, to make paper in ancient, prehispanic times. I'm not sure, but this may be how the store chose its name.
Restaurant Chaya Maya
terno de gala, still worn daily by many of Mérida's women. Their recipe and manner of cooking the tortillas is little changed from that found by the conquistadors when they came ashore in 1519. Perhaps the only modern touches are the metal griddle, heated by gas. Many traditional Maya women still use a wood fire to heat a clay griddle.
Papadzules holds three tortillas filled with hard-boiled, chopped eggs and covered by a creamy pumpkin seed sauce along with more of the eggs. On the left side is a leaf from the chaya plant from which the restaurant gets its name. The chaya is eaten in a variety of ways, including as a drink, and is incredibly healthful. According to Mexican Institute of Nutrition, chaya will improve digestion, blood circulation, vision, and memory, while fighting cholesterol, excess calcium, coughs, anemia, arthritis, and diabetes. And that's only a partial list! A cautionary word to Mérida vistors: Chaya Maya is very popular and it may often be difficult to find a table. However, it is worth the effort.
This completes Part 7 of my NW Yucatan series. Next week we'll visit Paseo Montejo, Mérida's "Avenue of the Millionaires". This street lined with the former mansions of the great sisal hacienda owners of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. I always appreciate feedback and if you would like to comment, please do so in the Comments section below or by emailing me directly.
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Hasta luego, Jim