Fodor's Expert Review Catedral de Mérida

Mérida Church Fodor's Choice
Free

Begun in 1561, Mérida's cathedral is the oldest on the North American mainland (an older one can be found in the Dominican Republic). It took several hundred Maya laborers, working with stones from the pyramids of the ravaged Maya city, 37 years to complete it. Designed in the somber Renaissance style by an architect who had worked on El Escorial in Madrid, its facade is stark and unadorned, with gunnery slits instead of windows and faintly Moorish spires. Inside, the black Cristo de las Ampollas (Christ of the Blisters) occupies a side chapel to the left of the main altar. At 23 feet tall, it's the tallest Christ figure inside a Mexican church. The statue is a replica of the original, which was destroyed during the revolution in 1910 (also when the gold that once adorned the cathedral was carried off). According to one of many legends, the Christ figure burned all night and appeared the next morning unscathed—except for its namesake blisters. You can hear the pipe organ play at the... READ MORE

Begun in 1561, Mérida's cathedral is the oldest on the North American mainland (an older one can be found in the Dominican Republic). It took several hundred Maya laborers, working with stones from the pyramids of the ravaged Maya city, 37 years to complete it. Designed in the somber Renaissance style by an architect who had worked on El Escorial in Madrid, its facade is stark and unadorned, with gunnery slits instead of windows and faintly Moorish spires. Inside, the black Cristo de las Ampollas (Christ of the Blisters) occupies a side chapel to the left of the main altar. At 23 feet tall, it's the tallest Christ figure inside a Mexican church. The statue is a replica of the original, which was destroyed during the revolution in 1910 (also when the gold that once adorned the cathedral was carried off). According to one of many legends, the Christ figure burned all night and appeared the next morning unscathed—except for its namesake blisters. You can hear the pipe organ play at the 11 am Sunday Mass.

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Church Fodor's Choice Free Historical

Quick Facts

Calles 60 and 61
Mérida, Yucatán  97000, Mexico

999-924–7777

catedraldemerida.org.mx

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Rate Includes: Free

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