About Mérida

Gate of entrance to the spectacular Mayan archaeological zone of Chichen Itza, the White City is confirmed as the cultural and economic center of Mexico’s southeast. The capital of Yucatan since the XVI century, it is one of the most thriving cities in the country and the city with greatest life quality in the region. When conquerors reached the Mayan city of T’ho, founded in 1240, they discovered remains of constructions similar to the Roman architecture found in the city of Merida in Spain; thus, their third expedition to the Yucatan territory on the 6th of January 1542, founded the region’s new capital, Merida. With the remains of the ancient Mayan city, they constructed the foundations of the new colonial capital. It didn’t receive orders from the capital in Mexico, but from the high court established in Guatemala, beginning the State’s history of isolation from the rest of Mexico. At the end of the Independence War (1821), the political conflicts of the new sovereign country began between liberals and conservatives, between federalists and centralists. Also, the peninsula rejected the imposition of a federal government and between 1821 and 1825, Yucatan was declared independent from the rest of Mexico’s territory. Afterwards, in 1841, it was again declared an independent state until the Mexican territory was organized as a republic. This new independence lasted 2 years. In 1847, Mexico’s southeast was submerged in an Indian rebellion known as the Caste War, during which the Mayas began a revolt against the government of the “whites” in an attempt to regain their independence and control of their land. During Porfirio’s era, estates and commerce flourished in Yucatan for the golden age of henequen, Merida became the home of the wealthiest Latin Americans. This era of progress and economic bonanza is reflected in the great constructions located on Avenida Paseo Montejo. It is also called America’s Cultural Capital for its efforts in promoting culture and offering a better life quality to the inhabitants of the country’s southeast. For example, in the last two years, 2005 and 2006, it has been the venue of the Mathematics International Olympics; it also has 15 universities and 4 research centers, 9 cultural centers with activities throughout the year, 7 museums and 1 art gallery.

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