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Barrio de La Mejorada

12 may 2015
2 min. de lectura

Merida Mejorada puerta iglesia

For some years now, the neighborhood of La Mejorada has taken on new life: restaurants and bars with Yucatecan and international specialties, cultural centers, museums, public offices, music schools and university schools turn this corner of the city into a cultural neighborhood with personality and own identity.

Go to the center of the park on the corner of Calle 59 and 50, Centro, and stand next to the statue of the Children Heroes, so you can see on the East side the dragon arch and the former dragon barracks, today the Cultural Center of the Yucatecan Child; on the same side, the Faculty of Architecture of the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY); then, a few steps from Calle 57, the Yucatecan Song Museum; on the south side, the State Music School and the Economic Development offices of the Mérida City Council; and in the West, you will see the Museum of Popular Art and various typical restaurants.  


The church and former convent found here was one of the two temple and convent complexes built by the Franciscans in Mérida, along with that of La Asunción, which dates back to the 16th century, only the latter has now disappeared. This old building was originally known as “Del Tránsito de Nuestra Señora or La Mejorada”, and it is one of the oldest in the city, dating back to the 17th century! It is currently a parish and is practically intact, with a beautiful dome on a false drum, one of the first on the Peninsula. If you enter, you will find at the back the Virgen del Carmen, to whom this temple is dedicated today.

The convent was restored and modified, and became the current headquarters of the Faculty of Architecture of the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY).

Have you seen the yellow building next to the church? It was originally a Franciscan hospital and later a military barracks. Today it is the headquarters of the Yucatecan Children's Cultural Center (CECUNY), although it is popularly known as “former dragon barracks.”

Next to it you will see a large arch, and another further ahead. The first was called the “dragon arch”, and it is considered one of the three oldest monuments in the city, (1725 - 1733). Their builder perhaps planned them to be the gates of the city, but in reality they were never used for that. The three arches that remain in Mérida, apparently, are the only ones of their kind in the entire country.

Here in La Mejorada you can visit the Museum of Popular Art, where you can see unique pieces from different indigenous cultures of our country; and a few steps away, you can also find the Yucatecan Song Museum, a great treasure that contains the history of our music, considered cultural heritage of Yucatan.

There's too much to see in this neighborhood, so put on some comfortable shoes and prepare to be filled with culture, history and flavor.

Photography by Laura Pasos for Yucatán Today


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Ralf Hollmann

Author: Ralf Hollmann

A Yucatecan born in Germany and raised in Canada, with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Ralf has experience in leisure tourism, journalism, research, editing, writing, and creative writing. He’s also a musician.

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