Izamal, The Yellow City

Facade of San Antonio De Padua, Izamal

Next time you’re in Yucatan don’t forget to visit Izamal, also known as the ‘Yellow City’.
You can spend even just a few hours while staying in Merida or driving from Cancun to Merida.
The city bears the denomination of ‘Pueblo Magico’ . There’s a federal program in Mexico that identifies towns (only 52 of them) that reflect Mexican culture trough attributes like traditions, architecture, music etc…
Izamal is one of the oldest colonial cities in Yucatan and it was built within the boundaries of the ancient Mayan city of Kinich Kakmo.
The cause of the adjective yellow is clearly visible all over the downtown area, where virtually every building is painted in yellow.

San Antonio De Padua, Izamal

The largest construction is the Sant Anotnio de Padua convent, built on top of the base of an ancient pyramid in 1561. The sheer size of it with his 75 arches and and huge cloister (7000 square meters!) makes it the largest in the Americas. All in glorious yellow.
It features statues of San Francesco of Assisi, Our Lady of Izamal and Pope John Paul the II who visited the town during his papacy.

After arriving to Izamal the Franciscan Fray Diego de Landa burned all the Mayan scripts (a disastrous common practice over the years and the reason why we know so little about Mayan religion, language and culture in general). He allegedly felt bad over the years and attempted to re write whatever he could remember about Mayan culture.

Cart in Izamal
Horse and Carriage, Izamal

Mayan is still the first language for many locals.

In Precolumbian era Izamal was a pilgrimage site second only to Cichen Itza for importance. In recent years the city has become once again a pilgrimage site, but this time for Catholics.

Izamal at sunset
Old Mansion,Izamal

Getting There:

Izamal is located 45 minutes East of Merida.


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