San Antonio de Padua Convent – Izamal, Yucatan
This is one of the most important and majestic buildings of Mesoamerica. It is located on the plateau of the greatest hill of the city of Izamal. You can visit it by going up one of the three ramps built on the sides. The main ramp is of one piece and it finishes at the top with a beautiful and single gate that gives access to a rectangular atrium with 75 arches, which covers an area of 7806.43 m2, this means, that it is more than half the size of the total grounds of the property. This makes it the largest closed atrium of America, and the second largest closed atrium after the St. Peter ́s square, in the Vatican.
Inside the temple, there is a beautiful baroque style altar piece, covered with laminated gold. It shows scenes that represent “The Death of Jesus”, “The Birth of Jesus”, “The Visit of the Holy Virgin to St. Elizabeth”, “The Visit of the Archangel to Mary”.
In the lower section, there are some niches where you may observe images of “St. Lucia”, “St. Anthony”, “St. Francisco” and “St. Joseph”. In the upper section, you can see the representation of “The Crowning of the Virgin as Queen of Heaven” and below there is an image of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, a sculpture in wood brought by Father Diego de Landa from Guatemala. It also has a track system that communicates with the dressing room where the faithful believers demonstrate their faith and devotion.
The convent of San Antonio de Padua, is composed by a large atrium with its four Chapels, the Church and Chapel of Indians, and the Convent itself with its Upper and Lower Cloisters. The church has a simple renaissance entrance, although the rest of the façade was modified towards the end of the colonial era.
If you want learn about more churches and convents in Merida, visit our latest post 7 Churches and Former Convents you must visit in Yucatan
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