Yucatan Road Trip - 2016 travel blog

Izamal - Convento

Convento

Visiting Nuns

Corridor

Mural

Mural of Mayan 'Workers'

Hacienda Yaxcopoil Exterior

Hacienda Interior

Hacienda Bathroom - Clearly an update

Hacienda Safe

Hacienda Chapel

Hacienda Courtyard

Hacienda Facade

Hacienda View

Sisal Processing Machinery


Izamal

Izamal is a small colonial era town with a large church and convent. The local parking officer turned into a guide and showed us around the huge structure at its center - the Convento de San Antonio de Padua. The convent dates to the mid 16th century and was said to have the largest atrium apart from St Peter's at the time of its construction.

Our guide is Mayan and tells us the backstory. Again, a story of the Spanish destruction of the Maya culture on the backs of Maya labor. The Convent was built atop a thousand year old Maya pyramid. The Bishop, Diego de Landa is infamous as the person who ordered the burning the Mayan Codexes. These were marvelously illustrated books that could have helped us understand the Maya and their civilization. Today there are only three verifiably authentic Mayan Codexes in existence - in Dresden, Madrid, and Paris.

Later that day we visit a small town where, I later learn, the mass burnings took place. This was cultural genocide.

Yaxcopoil Hacienda

Situated just South of Merida, Hacienda Yaxcopoil is being restored as a luxury B&B and tourist destination. Restored - very, very slowly. But it's an interesting place to wander around. The Hacienda itself is huge, as are the grounds. In its heyday Yaxcopoil was a henequen (sisal) plantation. Aside from the main house, there are the buildings that housed the sisal processing operation. Evidently a very prosperous place at one time. We were lucky to be the only tourists until the very end of our visit.

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