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El Pinar: Colonial pink mystery on Calle 60

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Veronica Garibayhttp://yucatanmagazine.com
Verónica Garibay Saldaña is a Mexican columnist, communications major, and poetry enthusiast. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.

Yucatán’s pink mansion is one of the most popular spots for photo enthusiasts visiting the Capital of Mérida. 

Located on a busy stretch of Calle 60, the old mansion arouses intrigue behind its pastel pink walls. After being seemingly abandoned, its 2020 for-sale announcement reawakened curiosity for the building.

El Pinar’s appearance, resembling a castle, has made it a popular spot for wedding photography. Photo: Courtesy

This mansion was built in 1915 and belonged to Humberto Peón. It was later acquired and restored by Alberto Bulnes Guedea and then sold to José Trinidad Molina Castellanos, whose family still owns the property.

A recent photograph of the El Pinar, which is pretty even without the pink. Photo: Courtesy

Apart from its iconic color and long-standing lifetime, it is locally known for its interesting urban legend.

The myth goes that in 1985, the mansion was home to a young Portuguese couple in the henequen industry.

The interior of the property can be visited through private tours or through a virtual one on their website. Photo: Courtesy

During their short period in the mansion, the woman was bitten by a bat and after a few days became ill with rabies.

Despite existing treatments to cure the disease, the recovery rate was low at the time, and the woman’s case quickly became severe.

Rumor has it that after the Portuguese businessman exhausted all available treatment, he locked his wife in one of the rooms of the mansion until her death. It is said that the neighbors in the surrounding areas could hear her cries coming through the walls.

After becoming a widower, the man abandoned the house and is believed to have returned to his home country. The legend has long influenced the image of the property, although it is not regarded as fact in the community.

Despite its changes in ownership and the long time since it was first built, the home maintains most of its original furniture and decor pieces. Photo: Courtesy

After this time, the home was slowly restored. Despite so many years of abandonment, the house maintains the original ornaments and furniture.

El Pinar has mainly an Italian neo-Renaissance architectural style with some characteristic features of French neo-Renaissance. It is one of the few colonial homes that remains intact today. It has 10 bedrooms, 10 full bathrooms, four half bathrooms, and a garage for eight cars. The backyard is also equipped with an ample terrace and a pool.

The luxury property is seemingly still listed around the internet. Photo: Courtesy

According to its history, El Pinar was the entrance point to the ancient town of Itzimná during the henequén boom. This makes it one of the most representative mansions of old Mérida, one directly resulting from the “green gold era.”

Regardless of the mysteries behind the property, it is still one of Mérida’s most beloved and iconic homes. Photo: Courtesy

In 2019 El Pinar started offering private tours at elpinar.com.mx, where the owners show the original details of the building, built during the Porfiriato period.

In 2020, the mansion was offered for sale at a price of $US7 million, although details regarding a change of owners are not known.

Today, El Pinar remains popular among locals and tourists alike and is one of Mérida’s most photographed houses. A virtual tour is also available through their official website.

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