Taylor Explores the World

Merida’s 500 Year Old El Centro

Location:  Block formed by Calles 60, 61, 62, 63

The Plaza Grande, or zocalo, is the main hub of the city and has been for almost 500 years.  The plaza was designated the Plaza de la Independencia in 1821.   The zocalo (plaza) takes up an entire city block and is formed by Calles 60, 61, 62 and 63. 

It offers a variety of activities and events throughout the week plus free Wi-Fi all of the time, as do most of Merida’s almost 200 parks.  During the day kids chase the pigeons through the center and at night lovers of all ages stroll together holding hands.  

Romance has not died in Merida that is for sure.  Young or old, public displays of affection are common, the norm and done tastefully; hand holding, an arm around the shoulders, a peck on the cheek, forehead or lips, all done with eyes full of love. 

The plaza has palms scattered throughout to provide shade during the heat of the day; they also frame the Catedral de Merida (Merida Cathedral) quite poetically with their fronds.  It is also known as Catedral de San Ildefonso or San Ildefonso Cathedral. Built just 19 years after the cities founding in 1561 is the second oldest church in the New World.

Your eyes are naturally drawn to the Cathedral’s beauty day or night but especially at night the dramatically designed lighting systems illuminates its grandness perfectly.  You cannot help but think that the architect and contractor responsible for it would be thrilled with how the lighting adds to the beauty of the building.  

Unfortunately, due to the Hanal Pixan festivities, we did not make it inside this trip to view the interior.  We will next trip.  I have no idea what it looks like on the inside but outside it is breathtaking enough to be the main focal point of all of centro Merida.


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