The son, usually known by his nickname el Mozo (the Boy), built Mérida on the foundations of the existing Maya city of T'ho. This statue is located in the middle of the glorieta (traffic circle) at the southern end of Paseo Montejo where Calle 47 crosses. Inspired by the great avenues of 19th Century Paris, the wealthy sisal producers sought to create an avenue "worthy of the City of Mérida". The Paseo begins just outside the old gates that were once the northern limits of the city and has a total length of 5,483 meters (3.4 mi.). Its northern end becomes the route to the port of Progresso, 40 km (25 mi.) away. Construction lasted from 1886 to 1905. While many of the mansions along the Paseo are now occupied by banks, insurance companies, and museums, some are still privately owned.
General Francisco Cantón Rosado, from whom it got its name. General Cantón won fame and fortune by suppressing the Maya during the revolt known as the Caste War. A conservative politician and a strong supporter of dictator Porfirio Diaz, the General grew wealthy through acquiring haciendas and railroads. General Cantón served as Governor of Yucatan from 1898 to 1902. The Palacio Cantón was built between 1904 and 1911 in the style known as Mannerist Baroque by Manuel Cantón Ramos, the same engineer who supervised the construction of the Casas Gemelas. I assume from his name that he was related to the general. In Mexico, people like to keep things in the family. In the next posting, we'll visit this museum to see the ancient Maya treasures it contains. There are numerous other spectacular mansions to be seen along Paseo Montejo. Unfortunately, shooting photos from a carriage in the process of dodging annihilation by zooming buses does not lend itself to carefully composed pictures. I suggest a walking tour for those wishing to photograph these amazing edifices.
Monumento a la Patria
Monumento a la Patria (Monument the the Fatherland) was created by Romulo Rozo who, ironically, was not Mexican but Colombian. However, he spent his last 33 years in Yucatan, dying in 1964. His remains are buried at the foot of the monument. Mérida makes the proud claim that this is the first great monument to nationality in Mexico.
Chichen Itza. Numerous other symbols representing the pre-hispanic past are also carved on this colossus. A wall on either side of the figure curves part way around the circle and is carved with faces and scenes from Mexico's history through the early 20th Century. As you can see, the late afternoon light was fading, so I could not photograph many of the fascinating details.
symbol of Mexico, found in the center of the national flag. The image refers to an ancient Mexica (Aztec) legend. According to the legend, the tribe originated in a place called Aztlán and journeyed south for many years. During this journey, tribal leaders received a vision of an eagle on a cactus eating a snake and interpreted this as a sign of where they should settle. In the 14th Century AD, the Mexica reached the great lake in the middle of the Valley of Mexico where they visited a small island. There, they encountered the eagle and the snake, just as in their vision. On that spot, the Mexica founded their capital, Tenochtitlán, which became Mexico City after the Conquest.
Ateneo Peninsular shines brilliantly in the floodlights that light up this and other white limestone buildings around the plaza. The glowing buildings exemplify Mérida's nickname: The White City.
Hotel Dolores Alba
Hotel Dolores Alba Mérida, originally a colonial mansion. The hotel is located on Calle 63, about 3 1/2 blocks west of the Plaza Grande. There is a sister hotel called Dolores Alba Chichen located just outside the park where the ruins of Chichen Itza are located. The 100 rooms distributed on 4 floors are moderately priced.