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Architecture in Yucatan

When Mérida was established in 1542, the city was initially laid out to include only about 25 square blocks, radiating outward from the main square with its impressive cathedral, and the concomitant government and residential buildings for the ruling Spanish. Shortly thereafter, the city limits were defined by a series of entrance arches, beyond which were pueblos for the indigenous Maya and their cultivated lands.

The Spaniards brought with them drawings and plans of homes and buildings in Spain, which in turn were essentially styles descended from the Roman rule of Iberia. With their new conscripted workforce – the Maya – the Spanish were able to recreate all the comforts of home, but employing the masonry building techniques the Maya knew and had used for thousands of years in their royal cities. The development over the next three hundred years continued along similar lines, and building styles varied little.

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