84.2 F
Monday, October 18, 2021

Parque Hidalgo: French aesthetic and history in a Mérida park

Latest headlines

A new campaign demands junk food ban in Mexican schools

Junk food consumption has increased along with the obesity epidemic, which one of the critical risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

Good news for Yucatán’s sea turtles

Sea turtles continue to be endangered in Yucatán, but a new study suggests that their numbers are beginning to recover. 

More remains of the world’s largest shark found in the depths of a cenote in Yucatán

The megalodon, or “big tooth” is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 2.3 to 3.6 million years ago from the early Miocene to the Pliocene periods.

The untamed beauty of Hormiguero and its exotic wilderness

Photo Caption: The zoomorphic facade of Hormiguero's Structure II sits atop a massive artificial platform. Photo Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
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.

As a public space lover, I would include the long corridor of parks along Calle 60 to my must-visit list for anyone discovering Mérida. 

We’ve already covered many famous parks in the city, starting with Santa Ana, passing Santa Lucía and the Parque de la Madre

Intersection of Calle 60 and Calle 59, where Parque Hidalgo sits. Photo: Verónica Garibay

But just a couple meters away from this new-wave feminist space, you find the French-inspired Parque Hidalgo. 

This park sits at the intersection of Calle 60 and 59 and has existed since the city was first laid out. Its first recorded name was Plazuela de Jesús due to its proximity to the Jesuit temple to its east.

Monument to Manuel Cepeda Peraza, in the middle of Hidalgo Park. Photo: Verónica Garibay

According to archaeologist Manuel Cirerol Sansores, the name Hidalgo emerged around 1847, when the Guerra de Castas began. A group of indigenous people hid in a barrack next to the present-day Daniel Ayala Theater. They were called Hidalgos, which in heraldry is the lowest degree of nobility. As many of their activities took place in this park, it began to be known as Hidalgo’s Park until it became Hidalgo Park.

Behind the trees, the facade of the “Gran Hotel”, built in the late XX century. Photo: Verónica Garibay

As time went by, the French aesthetic adopted in the country during El Porfiriato arrived in Mérida. This picturesque style influenced many iconic buildings in the center of the city, some of which were built in this park. 

Facade of “Hotel Mansión Mérida” in the southern face of the Park. Photo: Verónica Garibay

In the 20th century, the Gran Hotel was built on the south side of the square, which was the first to function as a hotel with all the luxuries of the time. To this day, the hotel contains bronzes, lamps, and furniture from the Belle Époque. 

Entrance to the “Gran Hotel.” Photo: Verónica Garibay

To its left sits the Fantasio Theater, which opened in 1952 and saw the emergence of some of the most important regional actors. 

At the center of the park, we find a stepped monument to Yucatecan Manuel Cepeda Peraza, founder of the State’s Literary Institute. In 1869, a decree was approved to erect a monument in memory of the republican hero.

Detail of the plaque on the Manuel Cepeda Peraza monument. Photo: Verónica Garibay

Since then, every March 3, the city holds a tribute to the general in this spot.

Towers of the Church “Rectoría Jesús de la Tercera Órden”, in front of the east face of the park. Facade of the “Gran Hotel”, built in the late XX century. Photo: Verónica Garibay

To the east was the home of Rodrigo Flores de Aldana, governor of Yucatán in 1662 — the first two-story building in the city.

Peek of the building once belonging to Rodrigo Flores de Aldana. Photo: Verónica Garibay

An interesting detail a tourist guide shared with me is that when facing the south wall of the Jesuit church you can appreciate the solid construction of the temple, which includes several stones from the Mayan buildings of ancient T’oh— the Mayan name for what today is the city of Mérida.

Detail of the stones seen in the southern wall of the church. Towards the center-right, we can see a stone with a Mayan design. Photo: Verónica Garibay

This city’s corner became the favorite of many students thanks to its proximity to the state’s university and the Literary Institute. But today it is still one of the most visited parks in the area as it is within walking distance of the Plaza Grande and a meeting ground between many artistic and cultural institutions. 

With its vast history and stunning views, it is definitely worth a stop on any given stroll along Calle 60.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles

COVID cases continue steady decline as vaccines for teens arrive

Yucatán's health ministry reported a steady drop in new cases this week. Daily infections averaged around 208,...

ELLA: Mérida hosts a weeklong international lesbian festival

The grand opening took place at Casa Thó, located in Paseo de Montejo. A special Meet & Greet was held with Diana Deskarados, renowned Youtuber, and Tigre Jimenez, Boxing Champion. 

Cozumel’s cruise industry bounces back in a big way

Quintana Roo has come to depend on a steady stream of cruise-goers, to maintain jobs at businesses including restaurants, excursion operators,...

Massimo Bottura’s community dinner is fighting hunger in Refettorio Mérida

Refettorio is a cultural project designed to offer dining experiences through the transformation of surplus ingredients into nutritious and beautiful dishes.

In Europe, Mexican Indigenous organizations denounce the Mayan Train

Indigenous groups from across Mexico, including Yucatán and Quintana Roo, sailed to Europe in what they describe as an invasion of conscience.

A private paradise at your Yucatán country estate

A private country estate is all yours in Yucatán. Contact Eric Partney at Mexico International. Ideal for those...

Ermita retreat: Historic charm and modern amenities

This charming retreat has every feature that you picture in your Mérida dream house. Lots of sunlight, high beamed ceilings, and every...

Yucatán’s bars and cantinas forge a new lobbying association

The group, which is now known as Asociación de Cantineros, is already made up of over 120 members but is yet to elect its first president. 

Progreso to host the Americas’ largest shipyard

Yucatán's Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal in Trieste Italy with the executive board of the Italian company Fincantieri. Photo: Courtesy

The Dresden Codex, the great Maya book of the stars

The Dresden Codex is a Mayan book believed to be the oldest surviving book written in the Americas, dating to the 11th or 12th century.