Izamal exConvent Ramp
Izamal, Yucatan, Mexico

Nikon D2x ,Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S
1/100s f/4.5 at 17.0mm iso100

Called the City of Hills and located right in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula, Izamal may be the oldest city in the Yucatan. Izamal was conquered by the Spaniards, and the monks in their eagerness to convert the Indians to Catholicism gave the city its religious distinction. To this day, Izamal’s people are very devoted to the Immaculate Virgin.

The most important thing to see here is the Franciscan convent that was built over one of the Mayan pyramids. This convent is also famous for the monk Fray Diego de Landa, its founder, who burned all the known Indian scripts which were the entire written historical record of the Mayan culture (priceless beyond measure), and then, feeling remorse for what he had done, tried to rewrite all he could remember of the ways of the Mayans. This was a tragic loss for all of humanity to lose such a historical record, all in the name of the Church.

After the Spanish conquest of Yucatán in the 16th century a Spanish colonial city was founded atop the existing Maya one, however it was decided that it would take a prohibitively large amount of work to level these two huge structures and so the Spanish contented themselves with placing a small Christian temple atop the great pyramid and building a large Franciscan Monastery atop the acropolis. It was named after San Antonio de Padua. Completed in 1561, the atrium of the Monastery was second in size only to that at the Vatican. Much of the cut stone from the Pre-Columbian city was reused to build the Spanish churches, monastery, and surrounding buildings.

Izamal was the first chair of the Bishops of Yucatán before they were moved to Mérida. The fourth Bishop of Yucatán, Diego de Landa lived here.


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I started photographing when I was 14, taking slides with an early Pentax 35mm. I took a photography class at 16 and began using a 4×5 view camera with my own darkroom. In 2002 digital emerged which envigorated my passion in the visual arts. In the last 5-6 years I’ve started documenting and developing a visual framework to cultivate “seeing” that can be shared with others on their path of becoming visual artists.

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  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKalmost 3 years ago

    Excellent capture Zane. Great colours, shapes and textures.

  • Thanks Don!

    – Zane Paxton

  • Scott Johnson
    Scott Johnsonalmost 3 years ago

    Great color, texture, composition; fine photo, Zane!!

  • Glad you enjoyed it Scott!

    – Zane Paxton

  • Harry Oldmeadow
    Harry Oldmeadowalmost 3 years ago

    brilliant image, informative text Zane — altogether nicely done!

  • Thanks Harry; it was a very interesting place to visit.

    – Zane Paxton

  • Lynne Prestebak
    Lynne Prestebakalmost 3 years ago

    Congrats on your feature, 8/12/11!

  • Thanks Lynne for the honor of the feature!

    – Zane Paxton

  • sedge808
    sedge808over 2 years ago

    The colours are so good.

  • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

    – Zane Paxton

  • Wendi Donaldson
    Wendi Donaldsonover 2 years ago

    Intriguing image….beautiful colours!

  • Thanks Wendi!

    – Zane Paxton

  • micklyn
    micklynover 2 years ago

    fantastically intense colour!!

  • Thanks Micklyn!

    – Zane Paxton

  • lucin
    lucinover 2 years ago

    Your work is masterful. I came looking having read a critique of yours about Stolen Kiss…I believe it was. Your talk there was most astute…..about the minds search for meaning. You have added to my sense of shot and post production. Thank you.

  • Thanks so much Lucin! That made my day!

    – Zane Paxton

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