Taylor Explores the World

Convent de San Roque, Museo de Valladolid y Parque Los Heroes

The building and where it stands has a long history with the Spanish Catholics in Valladolid.  According to the placard an earlier building once sat on these grounds; Hospital del Santo Nombre de Jesus was built in 1575.  In 1634, the current building replaced it, Convent of San Roque, with money donated by a priest.  It started as a four bed hospital but grew to ten beds by 1645 and was considered the best hospital in the province.

Convent de San Roque is a beautifully well-kept 17th century church that currently houses the Valladolid Museum (Museo de Valladolid),which is FREE to visit.  Its smooth stucco façade is painted a warm terra cotta color adorned with a simple white cross.  Inside its 15 or 20 foot arched ceilings are adorned with dark stained wooden beams, like the rungs of a ladder, placed between heavy stucco arches edged in a dash of white.   The museum displays a variety of informative placards and glass display boxes that house an array objects and artifacts.  They house Maya artifacts from an assortment of sources and time periods but most are simply labeled and lack in-depth detail.  The collection focuses mostly and deeply on Post-contact events from a Spaniard’s or Mestizo’s perspective.   
A large amount of information covering borders and land issues, haciendas and their products, the city of Valladolid, the colonial history of the region and its various politicians, land developments, land reforms, revolutions and republics formed with and against the larger Mexico.  A single placard is dedicated to the Caste War of 1847-1851 discussing the Mayan “rebels” and the “terror” they reined over the area but nothing I saw discussed their interaction during any other period.  It also fails to mention the devastation, destruction and eradication the Europeans reaped across the peninsula, physically and culturally destroying it while altering the Mayas lives and world views forever in their quest of religious conversion and natural resources.
The back corner of the museum opens invitingly to a beautiful outdoor courtyard, Parque Los Heroes.   A park like oasis sitting in the middle of a busy city block enclosed by a 10 foot wall and surrounded by buildings as old as it.  Despite the heat of the afternoon sun it provided a beautiful place to sit relaxing under a tree while listening to the sounds of birds, rustling leaves and the occasional scurrying of an iguana.  It provided enjoyable views of the park and the church.  

Amongst the trees and benches are several beautiful monuments.  A large bronze bust of Don Venustiano Carranza, a leader of the Revolution and first president post Huerta years (1914-1920), his gaze greets you a few steps into the park.  This beautiful outside space has experienced its share of violence and death within its walls too.  The graves of the protagonists of “the Crime of the Mayors of Valladolid”, Fernando Hipolito de Osorno and Pedro Gabriel Covarrubias, are located peacefully here.  The leaders of the armed struggle of 1910 were also execution in the courtyard.  Toward the far side of the park stands a sundial dedicated to them and the other rebels of the Revolution who died between 1910-1937; Rebels Coronel Niguel Ruz Ponce, Claudio Alcocer and some others are specifically listed.

The Museo de San Roque provides an excellent view of life from an early colonizers perspective and is filled with some great little treasures but expect much explanation on precontact items.

See more of our pictures of the San Roque Convent and Museum

Located:  Calle 41 esq. Calle 38 y 40, (on Calle 41 between Calle 38 and Calle 40)
Hours: 9 a 21 hrs (9am – 9pm)
Cost: FREE, accepts donations (I give $2-5 a person)


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