Fodor's Expert Review Casa de Montejo
Three Franciscos de Montejo—father, son, and nephew—conquered the peninsula and founded Mérida in January of 1542, and they completed construction of this stately home on the south side of the central plaza in 1549. It's the city's oldest and finest example of colonial plateresque architecture, a Spanish architectural style popular in the 16th century and typified by the kind of elaborate ornamentation you'll see here. A bas-relief on the doorway—the facade is all that remains of the original house—depicts Francisco de Montejo the younger, his wife, and daughter, as well as Spanish soldiers standing on the heads of the vanquished Maya. The building now houses a branch of the Banamex bank and the Museo de Sitio, with interesting exhibits of Meridano life in the 19th century.