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A magical town Izamal or Zamna- "Dew that decents from heaven"



Izamal is an old town between Merida and Chichen Itza with a very poetic name, now famous for its monastery, founded around the 300s, which flourished in the 800s.

Almost all the houses in Izamal, including the famous monastery, are mustard.




In the city’s central square, passengers are greeted by a string of colorful carriages. We didn't have enough time for this pleasure. Now I know - if I would go to Izamal next time, I would plan to spend there one night or at least a whole day. There are definitely things to do there: stroll through the cobbled streets of the yellow town, visit galleries and watch working artists, breathe the spirit of freedom in the giant monastery courtyard, ride a carriage, climb a pyramid and admire the panorama of the area, or meet a local shaman and, of course, visit "Kinich" Restaurant, famous for its traditional modernized cuisine and included in the 2021 Grand Mexican Gastronomy Catalog (I have written about the restaurant before:

https://www.worldculturebazaar.com/post/kinich-a-magical-restaurant-in-a-magical-town).


The pyramid of Kinich Kakmó in the center of the town is one of the largest archeological ruins in Yucatan and Izamal, built in honor of the Sun God. It was very important among shamans and believers.

Prior to the Spanish conquest, Izamal was one of the largest settlements in northern Yucatan; the area even has the name "City of the Hills" because of the many artificial hills on which the pyramids stood. To this day, the remains of the five most significant have survived, and in total, up to a few dozen have been counted.


The construction of the monastery and church was led by Franciscan Diego de Lana, whose contribution to Mayan history is twofold and highly controversial. By his order, almost all of the written legacy of the Mayans was burned.

The fryer worked so hard that he was even called back to Spain to explain to the king. I don’t know, by his own free will or on the king’s command, after returning to Yucatan, de Lana began to record everything he saw and heard. Thus, with the exception of a few surviving Mayan manuscripts (preserved in Dresden, Paris, and Madrid, and named after the places where they are kept), almost no written documents have survived.

Almost everything we really know about the Mayas today is from notes of the same Diego de Lanos. It seems that we have to thank him that scholars were able to read the Mayan Dresden Codex ...



The monument of Diego de Lana in the center of the town shocked me and also surprised me in a kind of pleasant way. History is history, we must accept it as a fact ...



Atrium of Convento de San Antonio de Padua, the 7,806-square-foot (84,023-square-foot) meadow, framed by a 75-arch atrium (built in 1618) is the biggest church atrium in Americas and the second largest after St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.



During normal times, three times a week (Thursday through Saturday) the town hosts a sound and light show "Senderos de Luz" ("Paths of light”) at 8 PM which tells a story of the Maya and Izamal. It starts at the streets of the town (a free part) and culminates in the atrium of the convent (a paid entrance).

However, even without any show, the energy of the square is magical. Mayas knew how to choose right places for their temples…




The Mother of God of Izamal (Nuestra Senora de Izamal) became the official patron of Yucatan in 1949. A celebration in her honor takes place in the town all week before December 8th. Every year, the Yucatan’s bishop continues his pilgrimage promise to come to honor the Yucatan patron. And at other times, the place really does not lack ordinary pilgrims...




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