Fodor's Expert Review Casa de Montejo
Three Franciscos de Montejo—father, son, and nephew—invaded 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 has had many owners over the centuries and the museum on the site consists of several rooms that have been restored and furnished as they would have appeared at the end of the 19th century.