The Convent Route

Discover Mayan treasures on the Convent Route, a tour with a cultural aspect as well.

The Yucatan Peninsula was evangelized by the Franciscans, and today you can still see colonial-era churches built by the Minor Friars around the state. Few know that hidden amongst the Yucatan’s rich Mayan heritage, there are dozens of lovely churches and convents. Behind austere exteriors, high walls, and arched bell gables, they guard incredible, elaborate baroque altars. However, in the south central region, a cluster of them make up what is called the Convent Route for their beauty and proximity to each other.

You could say that Maní is set at the halfway point on this route. To its south is Tekax with its former Convento y Parroquia de San Juan Bautista, a church from the 17th century, followed by Oxkutzcab and the Iglesia de San Francisco de Asís with its superb baroque altarpiece decorated with sculptures and wood carvings, and Ticul boasting the former Convento de San Antonio de Padua.

Heading the north towards Mérida, the route continues in Teabo, where you can see the former Convento de San Pedro y San Pablo with its chapel for the indigenous people. Then there is Chumayel, with its little 16th-century chapel for the Immaculate Conception. It was here that the famous Chilam Balam was found. This is a text written with Latin characters recording the ancient history and myths of the Maya, and today it is one of the main means of understanding the culture of these people. Close by is Mama and its beautiful red church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Farther on sits Tekit with its 16th-century Templo de San Antonio de Padua. This church’s altarpiece behind the main altar, brightly colored and done in the ornate Churrigueresque style, is not to be missed. Tecoh boasts the Iglesia de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora–its chancel bears a large, Churrigueresque altarpiece in polychrome with oil paintings of the Archangels. Finally, you come to Acanceh, where two beautiful 16th-century churches stand in its center: the Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Natividad and the Capilla de la Virgen de Guadalupe. Nevertheless, this is also the site of remarkable pre-Hispanic ruins.







Maní, Yuc., México

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