Maní is a small city located in the southern part of the state, near Ticul. It is famous for being the epicenter of the route known as the Convent Route, in which you can see the churches and convents of Yucatán. Maní stands out for having one of the most impressive open chapels in Latin America, a convent that transports you to the times of the friars, as well as having witnessed important passages of the history of the conquest in the Peninsula. Here are five ways to learn more:
- Church and Convent of San Miguel Arcangel. This convent, dating from approximately 1549, was home to one of the first schools of evangelization and one of the first hospitals in America. Outside there is a stone statue of the Archangel Saint Michael, a saint to whom the temple is dedicated. Like other buildings constructed at the time, stones from Maya buildings were used for its construction. Inside, notice its long corridors, simple and austere walls, as well as a splendid sacred altar, bathed in gold. During its more than four centuries of existence, it has been restored on several occasions, which has allowed it to be admired right up to the present day. Currently it continues to operate as a place of Catholic worship for masses and celebrations. The visitation schedule depends on religious services; it’s usually open from 7 am to 1 pm and from 5 pm to 7 pm.
- One of the largest open chapels in Latin America. Majestic and imposing, it is located to one side of the church and convent of San Miguel. Can you imagine being in a building more than 400 years old that functioned as a principal meeting place, that has survived since colonial times and which you can visit today? This is the ideal setting to take some souvenir photos. Look at the details of the walls; and of course, you can create a perfect panoramic postcard.
- The “Auto de fe” conducted by Fray Diego de Landa in this city. One of the most tragic moments in the history of the Maya took place in Maní: the burning of codices with explanations of history and astronomy, as well as of idols and religious symbols. This event, known as “Auto (or Act) of Faith,” led by Franciscan friar Diego de Landa as part of his efforts to convert the polytheistic Maya people to Catholic beliefs. Later he repented and devoted himself to the study of the Maya culture, and in this way was able to rescue a part of the history of the Maya, their way of life, and religious beliefs.
- A picturesque center full of stories and legends. Walking through the streets of Maní, you can find buildings with unique façades, squares, and chapels (St. Lucia and Santiago). If you are lucky you can find young people who are willing to tell you some legends related to the cenote Xcabach’e’en and the reign of the Xiu in these lands.
- Poc Chuc, famous Yucatecan pork dish. Maní is famous for the food at the restaurant Principe Tutul Xiu, with a long tradition and a “must” stop for visitors. It is a very typical place with regional cuisine, hand-made tortillas, bean soup, purple onion with habanero chile, and fresh fruit juices from the region. Don’t miss it!
Are you ready to visit Mani?
How to get there?
By bus: Noreste Terminal with departures during the day.
By: Violeta H. Cantarell
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