There are destinations worth the journey: such is the case with Uayma, a small town located 15 km from Valladolid. It is known for its imposing and majestic church, unique in Yucatán because of its colonial characteristics. To see it and photograph it will be a highlight of your visit.
The church and former convent of Santo Domingo de Guzmán dazzles from wherever you look at it: its façade made of stones taken from nearby archaeological sites, its decoration of stars and rosettes in red and blue, the friezes and other unique details make it a heritage of Vice-Regal architecture in Yucatán that has managed to survive over the years.
Take the time to observe the two-headed eagle (Austrian symbol of Spanish rule), the statue of the patron saint, and many more details. You will find symbols, Moorish influences … and above all, great ornamental beauty.
In the interior, white stars and details of roses in honor of the Virgin Mary, as well as decorative elements in arches, walls and doors, will make you exclaim “oh!” over and over.
Built around 1646 under the Franciscan order as a Marian temple, this church brings together a number of historical passages of interest. During the Caste War it was burned down as one of the acts of rebellion, destroying everything in its path.
Subsequently, it was completely restored in 2005 as part of a rescue that involved civil organizations and government, who were given the task of recreating its internal and external features with great precision, thereby giving us the opportunity to discover it.
Today you can appreciate its splendor: walk through the church, see its large atrium and courtyard, the sacristy, the choir loft, the corridors and the adjoining chapel. Be sure to visit the large gardens. The experience will fill you with peace and tranquility. Today it functions as a temple in which masses and sacraments are celebrated.
We recommend that you start your journey through the middle of Yucatán early in the morning. On a sunny day, you will be amazed by the contrast of the colors of the façade with the blue Yucatecan sky.
The main festivals are held during the last week of July and early August. On August 4, the various guilds meet in honor of Santo Domingo Guzmán. During these dates you can also enjoy the “vaquerías”, exhibitions, and activities that are carried out, just as the locals do.
Walking through its streets, you will notice Maya houses, some modern; a mixture of past co-existing with the present. Also visit “The House of the Pianos”, a colonial courthouse that functions as a hotel. It features high ceilings, stone floors, gardens, two pianos … and a wonderful view of the temple.
Uayma is quiet and hospitable, with an excellent location due to its proximity to Valladolid, magical town full of history and cenotes, as well as the archaeological sites of Ek Balam and Chichén Itzá.
By Violeta H. Cantarell
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