Taylor Explores the World

San Juan Neighborhood

Arch Location: Across Calle 64 near Calle 69-A
Church and Monuments Location:  Faces Calle 64 and forms one block with Calles 64, 67A, 62, 69A

The San Juan neighborhood is one of the original neighborhoods of Merida’s upper class.  The facades are painted solid in colors and have long, smooth stucco fronts with many elaborate windows and doors.  Some have gates, now used as garage doors, that originally allowed horse drawn carriages to enter and park, today they allow cars to do the same.

On Calle 64 the San Juan Arco (San Juan Arch), built in 1690, spans the road marking the city’s former boundaries.  The tiny spot under the arch becomes a stage during many of the city’s events.  During Hanal Pixan rotating performers used a stage that sat underneath it covering the entire street, leaving only the narrow sidewalks for large masses of people to pass creating a bottleneck effect that drastically slowed the flow. 

Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, or San Juan Bautista Church, sits kitty corner from the arch.  The church, its park and monuments utilize the entire block formed by Calle 64, 67A, 69A and 62.  Built in 1769-1770 this gorgeous yellow church has stunningly ornate carvings on its towers, upper façade and around all the doors and windows.  The church’s exterior truly shows the European grandeur and wealth Merida experienced after the Spanish arrived.  San Juan Bautista Church illustrates perfectly why Merida was deemed the Paris of the New World.

On Calle 64, between Calle 69A and 67A, in front of Iglesia de San Juan Bautista sits La Negrita, a beautiful bronze fountain brought from France in the early 20th century.

On Calle 69A, next to the church, sits a monument to Benito Juarez.  It is a simple statue of him.


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