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  • Arq. Gabriela Cornelio

Colonial Architecture in Yucatan

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

As we all know, Merida Yucatan Mexico, is consider one of the best small cities to live and retire.

Talking about Merida is talking about Rich Architecture, Mayan Heritage, Hacienda life, Archeological sites, Beach life, Night life and rich typical Gastronomy of region.



When we talk about Colonial Architecture Yucatan has a great amount of places.

Arches are a feature constant in Merida Colonial Architecture as well as Hight Ceiling, this are the most sought after characteristics in the Colonial Architecture of Merida.

Central Courtyard is a desire feature in a Colonial Home but many of the new homes that does not have this feature, are created adding a swimming pool and design the landscape around it with lush garden and usually a guest house in the back.


By creating this pattern we ensure the feeling of having a Central Courtyard. The hight ceiling give us a hint of the importance of the area, for example we can observe that in the Old Colonial Homes, highest ceiling are in the social areas such as Living room and Dinning room and they drop down.

When we design Colonial Style, we have to understand the importance of this feature. But during the Colonial time in Merida Architecture, we found French Architecture from that time and ArtDeco style as well as Art Nouvo. This styles are very much present in Merida Architecture from Colonial era.

It is important to understand that we will found this Architectural Design in the Yucatecan Colonial Architecture because you will found them. Understanding that Colonial refers to a period of time, talking about "Colonial Architecture", it will not exactly be very precise. I did mention a few of the most common features referring to Colonial Architecture but also many people called "Hacienda Style", and it is also same definition: It does refer to a period of time because Haciendas has many particular and a wide variety of different styles.


As I said we can found Arches and Columns into Hacienda style but that is only one feature of it. This arches come with moldings around of them or not and columns are also a big huge variety of the into the Hacienda Style of Colonial Architecture. This Picture of Arches in Hacienda Yaxcopoil are a good example of the arches most commonly found in Architecture of Hacienda Style.But here, we have a sample of this other Hacienda in Yucatan close to Merida Mexico and does not have any of the features we could think of a "Hacienda Style". This Hacienda style looks like a castle in Europe.


As we can see this two Haciendas have very different features and style and both are Haciendas de Yucatan from the Colonial Architecture. The second picture belongs to Hacienda ChenChen de Las Torres and we wanted you to show to you as example of how much different can be one of the other when referring or calling "Hacienda Style", of course there are more Haciendas like the first example of Hacienda Yaxcopoil, and that is why people start to call "Hacienda Style", because the predominant features are more repetitive, during the Colonial Architecture time.

In Merida Centro Mexico, we found all the houses that are closer to the heart of the city, with is the Main Square Plaza called "Plaza Grande", presenting Colonial Architecture features because it is where the city of Merida started. It is where the conquerors who colonized us established their homes and the homes of those who were arriving and being born in the "New Spain", as this land was called before being called Yucatan and because there is a city in Spain called Merida, our city was called "Merida de Yucatan"


Francisco de Montejo's facade with the Caryatid decoration windows



The decoration of the windows was carried out in 1896, adapting the interior to the fashionable french style at that time and incorporating the Caryatid that adorn the windows of the facade.


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