05-Marzo-2020, Jueves. Mérida, Yucatán
Gate to the other life
Cementerio General, Mérida’s main cemetery and one of the country’s oldest, first began in 1821, when the government decreed that cemeteries be established outside the city limits. It was founded on San Antonio X-Coholté hacienda owned by Captain Clemente de Acevedo two centuries ago and is still in use.
The Cementerio General had its greatest splendor in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. At that time there was a custom that when a corpse arrived they had to build their place as similar (same architectural style) to the place where they lived, as a way to make the transition from life to death a little easier. This is why most of the mausoleums of the General cemetery have different architectural styles and construction materials brought from Europe. The Calle 60, the main avenue of the cemetery, can be compared to Paseo de Montejo because many wealthy families wanted their mausoleums to be placed on that avenue.
Its more than 25,000 vaults, ossuaries and mausoleums are part considered part of Yucatán’s architectural and cultural heritage.
Although I really enjoyed walking through the cemetery I was disappointed that I could not find some of the significant tombs. It was too hot to keep looking. Something for when we return…
The old cemetery has expanded to include a modern cemetery section just outside its old gate/wall.
Back to the Casa Carmita for una siesta. It’s HOT again today.
Refreshments, botanos (free snacks) then back again for a siesta.
One of the botanos was jicama and cilantro marinated in lime and hot peppers. Pretty tasty. Another was chicken gizzards.
Out for our evening stroll around Plaza Grande and Santa Lucia Plaza.
Hechos Graciosos (Fun facts)
The impact site of the Chicxulub meteorite, the one that took out the dinosaurs 65 million years, is less than 15 miles away from Mérida. The asteroid/comet, estimated to be 6.8 to 50.3 miles wide, hit the Earth traveling at 44,640 miles per hour, roughly 20 times the speed of a rifle bullet. The crater is estimated to be 93 miles in diameter and 12-18 miles in depth. It’s estimated that on impact the Chicxulub meteorite was a million times more energetic than the largest nuclear bomb ever tested.
Gate to the other life… The impact of Chicxulub meteorite extinguished three quarters of life forms on Earth, marking one of the major events in the evolution of life, with the transition from the age of dinosaurs to that of mammals.