78.8 F
Mérida
Saturday, September 18, 2021
###

Repairs, and respect, for the cathedral

Latest headlines

Guns N’ Roses cancels Mérida concert, vows to return in 2022

Guns N' Roses won't be in Mérida in 2021 after all. Los Angeles rockers Guns N' Roses...

Cholul — The small pueblo named after water wood in Northern Mérida

Although it has largely grown in popularity for newcomers, Cholul still retains its town designation as well as most of its traditions and customs.

Yucatán loosens curfew and eases limits on restaurant hours

Yucatán is easing its pandemic curfew, allowing drivers on the road at night between Sunday and Wednesday.

The best breakfasts in Yucatán

Breakfast time in Yucatán is full of delicious options, from the spicy to the sweet and savory.
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.

Merida's main cathedral is going to get some tender loving care. Photo: Getty Images
Merida’s main cathedral is going to get some tender loving care. Photo: Getty Images

Merida, Yucatan − Merida’s hulking, historic Catedral de San Ildefonso, which has presided over the Plaza Grande since the 16th century, is due for a little care. Its columns and roof will be waterproofed and its music equipment, including the pipe organ, will be repaired and its wiring upgraded. Cracks on the main dome will be attended to, as well.

The rector of the cathedral, Father Gaspar Arceo, said the work will be done in conjunction with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) as well as the state.

The cathedral has suffered not only the indignities of time, but also from thoughtlessness. A staff of only 10 struggle to keep up with gum and trash left daily by visitors indifferent to the cathedral’s importance.

The cathedral is significant for being the oldest of its kind on the continent. It is the first cathedral built on mainland North America.

Built from 1561-1598 on the site of a former Maya temple, and utilizing its stone, the cathedral’s severe, fortress-like architecture reflects the austerity of its builder, the Franciscans. Embellishments and decorative flourishes came later, but its baroque altarpieces and priceless artwork was looted at the height of anticlerical fervor during the Mexican Revolution in 1915.

In 1916, two chapels were demolished to separate Cathedral Palacio Episcopal headquarters (now the Museum of Contemporary Art), leaving what is now the Passage of the Revolution.

In the small chapel to the left of the altar, the cathedral contains Mérida’s most famous religious artifact.  A statue called Cristo de las Ampollas (Christ of the Blisters) was moved to the cathedral in 1645 after having been the only thing to survive a church fire in Ichmul. According to folklore, it was carved from a tree that was hit by lightning and burned for an entire night without charring. According to Frommers, the artifact was among the plundered treasures of 1915, and today a replica stands in its place.

Today, some 6,000 people attend Mass on Sundays and 300 on weekdays.

Sources: Sipse, Frommers, Lonely Planet

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles

Mexico will vaccinate one million children at severe risk of COVID-19

There is an important limitation since the only vaccine authorized for emergency use in children under 18 is Pfizer’s.

Shorebirds in the Yucatán: endangered travelers

18% of the total bird population in Yucatán is in danger of extinction as a result of habitat loss, the introduction of invasive and predatory species, overfishing, and the climate crisis.

Casa Limonero — This classic Mérida home is now a modernized short-term rental in Santiago

“Casa Limonero just has such an authentic Mérida feeling,” says Trevor. “It’s modern enough to feel new and welcoming, but colonial enough to make you feel like you’re in Yucatán.”

Rare ancient Mayan vessel discovered in the path of the Tren Maya

The piece is engraved with a hieroglyphic text, whose type dates from the end of the Early Classic to the Late Classic period (600 and 800 A.D.), attributed to the Oxkintok area.

Here’s how to plant a tree in Mérida

For trees to grow healthy and not pose a danger to properties or citizens, one must consider Mérida’s infrastructure.

The grand ancient city of Becán — a microcosm of Maya history

Because of Becán’s longevity, in its history, we can see evidence of a microcosm of Mayan chronology packed into a single site.

Controversy over new Reforma sculpture: The head of an Olmec woman will be designed by a man

The new sculpture will be named Tlali, which means Earth in Nahuatl, and it will be created by sculptor Pedro Reyes. 

Yucatán COVID infections rise for the 5th consecutive week

Photo: Courtesy Daily coronavirus infections jumped 6.4% since the beginning of August, Yucatán health ministry data shows.

Obscurities: We found 5 of Mérida’s hidden treasures

Luca's patio is great for brunch. Photo: Maggie Cale I love finding new little spots to eat, shop,...

After 9/11, a New York diaspora in Mexico

Nearly 20 years after the attack, I am far away from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, seen here just yesterday. Photo:...