Izamal exConvent Ramp

Zane Paxton

San Carlos, United States

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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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