Isamal – the yellow magical city where the Mayans still live

Isamal – the yellow magical city where the Mayans still live

I invite you to get acquainted with one of the most unusual cities in Mexico. It is officially recognized as a magical city, Mayans have lived here since ancient times, one of the oldest monasteries of the New World is located here, and ancient pyramids proudly rise above the residential buildings. It’s also all yellow!

The first Mayan pyramid I ever saw was not in some ancient ruins, but in a small Mexican town in the north of the Yucatan. A huge, monumental pyramid rises majestically right above houses, stores and other modern buildings. Can you imagine such a thing? Probably, it’s possible only in some magical city, you say. Quite right. Fortunately, our Isamal is one of those – it officially has the status of a “Magic City”.

This town is unique not only because its streets proudly adorned with five real Mayan pyramids. It is unusual in that it is one of the oldest continuously existing cities in America. Just think: it was founded by the first Maya at the dawn of their civilization, and since ancient times people live here permanently. Almost all other cities of the continent were abandoned long before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, but not Isamal. The city was founded between 750 and 200 B.C., which means that it is about 2500 years old. It is about the same age as Rome.

The most grandiose pyramid of Isamal is dedicated to the Mayan sun god Kinich Kak Mu. The size of it is simply unfathomable – only the base covers an area of 8000 square meters. The other pyramids are much smaller.

The upper level of the pyramid to the sun god in Isamal. Let`s get closer. Climb up to the top.

But the largest pyramid of the city was destroyed in the 16th century by Spanish missionaries and educators in order to build a Catholic monastery in its place. It is certainly beautiful, but this vandalism is absolutely inexcusable. However, this was always done when they wanted to symbolically destroy the previous government and establish a new one. This barbaric operation was led by the notorious scoundrel Bishop Diego de Landa, who also deserved a place in history by the fact that he carried out the Inquisition in Mayan lands and burned all the manuscripts of the people. Only three books miraculously survived that fire – if not for them and the genius of the Soviet deciphering scientist Yuri Knorozov, we would have never been able to read the Mayan writings and learn the history of this civilization.

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In addition to its pyramids and history, Isamal attracts tourists with its unusual appearance. Almost all the buildings are painted in the same yellow and gold color scheme, so the city has an easily recognizable and unique look. Wandering through the streets of this sunny city is a great pleasure. It’s very beautiful!

A typical Yellow City street. Tourists are taken for a carriage ride. Another carriage ride.

We liked the monastery of Antonio of Padun in spite of its unrewarding origin: it was beautiful, cozy, atmospheric, and pleasant. We enjoyed an hour or an hour and a half of walking around its grounds. For its time it was a grand building, especially for the New World, where the Spanish domination was just established. Almost half a thousand years have passed since its construction (1561), but even today the atrium of the monastery is second in size only to the Vatican. By the way, it is one of the oldest Catholic buildings in the entire New World.

The atrium is beautiful … and unusually wide.

I especially liked the galleries around the atrium and the charming little courtyard inside. As soon as I was there, the courtyard touched me, stirred up some strings of the soul or memory. What was it? I don’t know. That feeling remained in that chambery white courtyard: being there, I knew that this elusive feeling belonged to that place, and I would not be able to take it away with me.

The inner courtyard of the monastery. Gallery. Gallery.

Today Isamal is a Catholic pilgrimage site. Several statues of saints are said to work miracles. The statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception (“Our Lady of Isamal”) is especially revered, she is also the patron saint of the state of Yucatan.

Isamal

A mural inside the monastery.

Isamal, like many other settlements in Yucatan, Chiapas, and other states in southern Mexico, is still a Mayan territory, and their language here is even more common than Spanish and serves to communicate with the inhabitants.

Isamal

Maya Indians in Isamala.

The city’s name translates as “the place where the daily dew” or “the constant drizzle”.

As for the status of “Magic City”, it is indeed an official title awarded by the government to small towns and villages with a high level of culture and rich heritage that can attract tourists with the beauty of their landscapes, crafts, traditions, cuisine and hospitality. There are more than 130 in total in Mexico.

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Isamal

Love and advice! :)

Isamal is easy to get to, even from Cancun and other Riviera Maya resorts.

City of Isamal

Izamal Mexico is sacred majesty in the sunlight. Undoubtedly the city of sacred traditions and the baptism of paradise state. In this article we offer a look at an amazing, particularly memorable ancient village in a charming country. The basis of the papacy of the times of colonization and a sunny reflection on a sinful land.

Access roads: the yellow town of Isamal Mexico

Gorgeous Isamal on the map

The town of Isamal is located ~The town of Isimal is located 70 km from the regional capital of the state of Yucatan near highway 180 leading to the coast of Quintana Roo. You can usually get there by car or by bus. The undoubtedly popular settlement is visited in most multi-day and even one-day tours. For the history of colonization, Old Testament life is hidden within the yellow walls of the village.

Historical sketches: the yellow city of Isamal Mexico

The Pyramid of Isamal

The first mentions of Isamal date back to 400 AD. Built by the spiritual leader Itzamna, the city was certainly a reflection of the religious development of the Maya Indians. The sacred development was continued by the Conquistadors who came to the land. But the intended use of the territory preserved the decrepit way of life and patriarchal dependence. Perhaps that is why the city is considered a place of development of the three cultures. After all, the conquerors used the settlement as a sanctuary for the spread of the Catholic faith.

In the city of the sun lie artifacts boldly attributed to the periods of pre-Conquista, colonial and modern Mexico. Remnants of structures of various importance still delight the eye of the average citizen. But the beggar’s order has put a great deal of effort into the development of the area. For in an effort to bring the region closer to sacred motives, they built temples and monasteries.

The colonial buildings of the sunny village are steeped in the Middle Ages. Paved stone roads, lampposts adorn its streets. In addition, the small streets, adapted for travel in harnesses, are open for walking. And the yellow color of the walls adds brightness and colorfulness to the amazing photographic landscape.

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The Pearl of Isamal is of great cultural value to the state. All structures are subject to restoration and preservation. After all, the houses in the forgotten and Spanish style gives that forgotten atmosphere inherent in the conquests and bloody devotions, in the course of inculcation of the new Christian faith.

Architectural ensemble: the yellow city of Isamal Mexico

Yellow City Streets

As mentioned earlier, Isamal is a treasure trove of ancient historical heritage. The Franciscan monastery alone is worth a lot. For its location was not chosen by chance.

The remains of the Mayan pyramid served as the material for its construction. As in many villages of the forgotten people, as a rule, any spiritual construction presupposed greatness over the previous creed. Incidentally, the desire for proof of a single god was the reason for the destruction of many centuries-old altars and temples. The huge plaza at the center of the monastery covers ~The huge square in the center of the monastery covers 7000 sq.m., but the arched aisles create a shadowy corridor where it is easy to hide from the scorching sun. On the main building, the magnificent stained-glass windows and the sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception are worth noting.

Walking through the streets of the yellow city and looking at the multiple architecture you will reach the palace of the city government. It presents a model of the development of the settlement, including the combination of prehistoric aspects of the various civilizations.

And of course the Mayan hills spreading out all over the territory of the modern Izamal. The General Delegation is located to the north of the monastery and is named Kinich Kalmo. A peculiar rock covered with vegetation, covering an area of about four hectares. No doubt the identification of the greatness of the divine energy and applied forces in commitment to the cults. It is real to climb the pyramidal creature and view the divine colors of Mexico, especially the grandeur of the city from above.

Tips for visiting: the yellow city of Isamal Mexico

Well, the standard when visiting any sightseeing is to be careful and safe. As a route to travel, choose exclusively the toll highway. This will not only save time, but also avoid the troubles associated with blocked villages, bumps and traffic jams along the way. The highway has an exit to the yellow city, so it won’t be difficult to navigate.

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City of Isamal

For an understanding of the historical aspects, book great tours that include a visit to Isamal. Often, the city of Maya is chosen as a place to relax and immerse yourself in a gastronomic orgasm. By the way, almost any trip through Merida contains a visit to the area.

In addition to the city of Isamal, Mexico has a huge number of attractions. One of their fresh and at the same time mystical representatives, the town of Sayil.

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