The churches of Mérida have certain artistic gems that, although they do not enjoy the world-wide fame of those of the Notre Dame cathedral, are worth stopping and seeing them.
"The way to honor them (sacred pieces) is to visit them, learn them, learn about their importance and transcendence and enjoy them because the problem is that we have them and nobody sees them. The heritage is worth when people use it, enjoy it, disseminate it and see it. There is no point in having a patrimony enclosed in a cellar. "- Dr. Fernando Garcés Fierros, a specialist in sacred art.
The terrible losses to the cultural heritage of Yucatan already happened 100 years ago, when the troops of General Salvador Alvarado sacked and burned the Cathedral, destroying several images, among them the Christ of the Blisters. Altarpieces were destroyed in the churches and only that of La Candelaria was saved. During the Caste War, part of the city's artistic and cultural heritage was also destroyed.
What is preserved is extraordinary and in the Cathedral there are paintings, images and sculptures of great value such as two paintings of the Virgin of Guadalupe, one that is a scale replica of the image of Tepeyac, and another smaller one found in the capitular room and that is signed by Miguel Cabrera, the most important painter of the viceregal era. From the same artist there are paintings in the Major Seminary and the church of Tecoh.
There is also the painting of the Immaculate Conception by fray Herrera. It is a very large picture that is in the part of the south wall, almost next to the wall of the presbytery at the bottom of the Cathedral and that apparently was in the church of San Francisco, where then was the military fort.
As always in the Cathedral, in the side altarpieces are the sculptural images of the Immaculate Conception and San José, which are some precious carvings with an incredible stew and in a good state of conservation, a great artistic work.
Other works of great value are the pieces of the sacristy, those of the chapel of the Christ of the Blisters, the image of Our Lady of Yucatan and the Christ of Unity, which is considered an important work by a Spanish artist (Ramón Lapayese del Río) that in about 50 years, when it reaches 100 years of being manufactured, it will give it that great recognition that is something that also has to be valued, taken care of and protected.
Outside the Cathedral, there are works of great value such as the Christ of the church of Santiago, the paintings and the walls of the church of El Jesus (Third Order), whose original altarpiece was lost at the time of the Revolution, as well as pieces of the churches of San Juan and La Candelaria. Each church has its own jewel and not necessarily because it is old. There are modern things that are worthwhile as in the churches that were just built in the twentieth century and this century that guard an interesting heritage that is part and will be part of history.
Give yourself some time to learn the legacy and heritage of Yucatan because Mexico has one of the most important assets of humanity.