Merida´s Palacio de Gobierno
Located on the north side of Plaza Grande, Mérida’s Palacio de Gobierno was completed in 1892. It houses the state of Yucatán’s executive government offices, and it’s open to the public daily (Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, and on Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm). The main reason why one would want to visit the Palacio, besides looking at its lovely Colonial architecture, would be to take a look at the fantastic collection of historical paintings completed in 1979 by the local artist Fernando Castro Pacheco. It took him 8 years to complete this visual history of the Maya people after the Spanish conquest. The larger-than-life paintings can be seen on the walls of the central staircase, in the corridors around the courtyard, and in the “Hall of History”, all of which are open to the public.
Another site worth mentioning can be found right next to the Palacio: it’s a small shopping center that houses the Pasaje Picheta, named after the local artist whose cartoons depicting 19th-century scenes are reproduced as murals on the walls. These paintings really helped me picture what our tour guide was saying about Mérida being influenced by French culture at the time since men are portrayed wearing tuxedo outfits, complete with a cane and a top hat.