84.2 F
Sunday, May 22, 2022

One of the Twin Mansions becomes a private museum

Latest headlines

You won’t miss the meat or dairy in these recipes from Yucatán

Vegan, vegetarian and plant-based lifestyles are easy to enjoy, despite living in meat-centric Yucatán.  Now that we’ve listed our...

Yucatán COVID patient 1st to die in 49 days

Coronavirus cases rose steadily in a week that ended with Yucatán's first COVID fatality since April 2. A...

Expats in Mexico face impossible deadline to comply with new tax law

Taxpayers in Mérida wait for their numbers to be called at the SAT office. Photo: File A tax...

What is the Loop Current and how does it affect hurricanes on the Yucatán Peninsula?

A current of warm tropical water is looping unusually far into the Gulf of Mexico for this time of year, with the power to turn tropical storms into monster hurricanes.
Yucatán Magazine
Yucatán Magazine has the inside scoop on living here. Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox every week.
[metaslider id=48913 cssclass=””]

Nearly 110 years after it was built, the public is invited to see inside one of Mérida’s palacial Casas Cámara, also known as the Casas Gemelas or Twin Houses.

Montejo 495 Casa Museo, which is the house on the left if you are viewing them from the Paseo, is a giant time capsule containing vestiges of Yucatán’s golden age. The home’s artwork and fine furnishings, including a grand chandelier that was the first in Yucatán to be wired electrically, are displayed throughout.

While the upper floors are still private residences, the museum space has plenty of marble-clad rooms on the first floor. Surrounding a grand reception hall is a set of ornate French-style parlors on the left, followed by a magnificent dining room on the right, a billiards room and cozy, lush library. Each room has a docent, speaking in both Spanish and English, to give the rooms context.

Since it was built in 1911, when henequen plantations still funded mansions up and down Mérida’s grand boulevard, the French-style mansion has been owned by only two families: The Cámara Zavala family that built it, and then in 1964 by the Barbachano Herrero family.

Three generations of Barbachanos were early pioneers in Yucatán tourism, and owned the Chichén Itzá archaeological site from 1944 until the government expropriated it in 2010. Family members owned numerous hotels, including the landmark Mayaland resort, and still have several properties such as Casa del Balam, which created the groundwork for a regional tourist economy.

Maruja Barbachano Herrero — who grew up in the mansion and still resides on the upper floors — didn’t want the home to become office space, which happened to so many other grand residences on the boulevard. As early as 2014, she suggested the home could be a museum of the Porfiriato era.

Montejo 495 Casa Museo
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday-Sunday
General admission: 250 pesos (50 pesos more to take photography); with state identification, 125 pesos. INAPAM, students and children under 12, 50 pesos; free entry for children under 3.

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

Mexico looks to its southern neighbors for investment and international cooperation

Historically Mexico’s economic footprint regarding its neighbors to the south has been negligible at best, aside from a few large corporations such as Banco Azteca and Bimbo. 

Activists in Mérida observe International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Trans pride flag flies over the Monumento a la Patria on Paseo de Montejo. Photo: Courtesy Jornada Maya

The Most Famous Mexican Mathematicians

Photo by Nothing Ahead via Pexels By James Collins The subject of mathematics can be...

Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccine contracts to remain a state secret until 2025

The true cost of Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign will not be known until well after the next round of federal elections....

Drivers infuriated by dangers where train work clashes with Mérida-Cancún highway

Serious accidents on the Mérida-Cancún toll highway have become more common since the construction of Phase 4 of the Mayan Train...

Progreso to open new inflatable water park this summer

The new attraction made by Splash-n-Dash Aqua Park will arrive in Progreso in the coming weeks and should be ready by...

Gov. Vila travels to France to promote investment in Yucatán

Yucatán Gov. Vila heads a seminar aimed at investors in France titled “Yucatán, the right place to invest.” Photo: Courtesy

A Mérida restaurant makes a big move, to Phoenix

A Mérida restaurant has moved to Phoenix, where Arianna Pared Villegas still proudly displays her Cuban roots. Photo: Courtesy

Out-of-control fire rages through Valladolid garbage dump

Fires are common in Yucatán between March and May, and the problem only seems to be getting worse every year. Photo:...

Starbucks forces cafes in Mexico to remove frappuccinos from menus

A law firm representing Starbucks has sent cease and desist letters to cafes across Mexico.