Yucatán Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, found on the nothern outskirts of Mérida, is one of the Yucatán’s largest and most popular new museums. From the glories of the past right up into the modern day, the museum takes visitors on a comprehensive journey through the history of the Yucatán’s original inhabitants.

El Mundo Maya Museum

Aimed to coincide with the famous Maya doomsday prophecies, the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya opened on December 21st, 2012. Not exactly the best timing… why open a museum about the Maya on the same day that worldwide interest in them was set to evaporate? But it doesn’t seem to have mattered, because the place was packed when we visited on a Saturday afternoon, despite the high ticket price and an inconvenient location outside the city.

The museum begins with an exhibition about the living Maya, instead of delving right into their illustrious history. I appreciated this; the word “Maya” conjures almost exclusively the images of an ancient race, but this is very much a modern-day people. By starting with their contemporary faces and an explanation of their current situation, the museum doesn’t allow you to forget that.

With the size of the crowd, it was difficult to experience everything the museum has to offer… the interactive exhibits, such as mapping your birthday to Maya astrology or learning how to count with their vigesimal numeric system, had long lines behind them. And it’s no fun to read detailed accounts of archaeological finds, when the impatient people waiting behind you are sighing.

So we didn’t stay as long as we would have liked, and were rather agitated by the time we left. The lesson, though, isn’t to avoid the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, but to choose a weekday, when the number of other visitors will be manageable. This is the kind of place which warrants at least a couple hours of your time.

Location on our Map

Great Hotels And Haciendas In Mérida

El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
El Mundo Maya Museum
, , , , ,
January 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm Comment (1)

Mérida – Capital of the Yucatán

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

A gorgeous colonial-era city of nearly a million people, Mérida is the capital of the Yucatán and was our home for three months. Despite its size, it’s mostly overlooked by travelers. In fact, before deciding to move to the Yucatán, we had never even heard of it! But Mérida is an invigorating city filled with historical sights, hectic markets, friendly locals, relatively few foreigners and an impressive cultural life.

Merida Yucatan

Mérida was officially founded in 1542 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo. A Maya city named T’Hó had previously occupied the location, but by the time of the conquest, its pyramids were already in ruins and the remaining indigenous population were living in straw huts. Although Montejo and his men encountered fierce resistance, they were able to quickly subdue and dominate the out-gunned locals.

From the very beginning, the Spanish intended Mérida to be capital of the Yucatán. Its development followed a very structured layout, with a grand central plaza where the pyramid of T’Hó once stood. An enormous cathedral, just the second in the New World, was constructed on the east side of the plaza. To the north, the governmental palace was built. To the west, the Imperial Palace. And a marvelous residence for Conquistador Montejo himself on the plaza’s southern side. With this Plaza Grande as its nexus, the city sprawled out in every direction.

Despite its capital-city status, Mérida remained a relative backwater for most of its history. No highways connected it to the rest of Mexico, and a perceived lack of natural resources held its growth in check. That changed in the late 18th century with the “discovery” of henequen: a high-quality fiber made from agave. The “green gold” brought unheard-of riches to the Yucatán and Mérida expanded rapidly, becoming the first city in Mexico with street lighting and cable cars. Culture flourished, and the downtown was completely renovated. Of course, while Mérida’s lords and ladies were enjoying their exciting new wealth, the Maya (who had been using henequen for centuries) were being exploited worse than ever.

With the invention of artificial fibers, the henequen boom petered out and Mérida settled back into its regular rhythm. The traces of its former glory, however, remain. Mérida has an uncommonly active cultural and intellectual scene and its historic center is one of the largest in the Americas, with beautiful colonial buildings on every block. Throughout the week, there are free musical performances downtown. Crime is rare, with violence toward tourists practically non-existent, and Meridians themselves are about the most laid-back and friendly people imaginable.

Location on our Yucatán Map

Great Hotels In Mérida

Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Maya Merida
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Horse Carriage Merida
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Blog
Cats Merida
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
Merida Yucatan
, , , , , , ,
November 13, 2013 at 1:53 am Comments (2)
The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, found on the nothern outskirts of Mérida, is one of the Yucatán's largest and most popular new museums. From the glories of the past right up into the modern day, the museum takes visitors on a comprehensive journey through the history of the Yucatán's original inhabitants.
For 91 Days