The General Cemetery of the City of Merida, Yucatan is built on terrain that was the hacienda of San Antonio X-Coholté, located on the Camino Real to San Francisco de Campeche, and inaugurated on November 3, 1821, being blessed by His Reverend Excellency Bishop Pedro Agustín Estévez y Ugarte, XXXII; being governor, captain general and intendant field marshal Juan Maria Echeverri, last spanish governor of the peninsula. The first burial made in this cemetery was that of Lieutenant Felipe Trejo on Tuesday, November 6, 1821.
The cemetery was built adapting the facilities of the ranch, taking advantage of the main house and the chapel. The architect Santiago Servián was who elaborated the plans to transform the hacienda into a cemetery; the main adaptation consisted in the construction of a road that served as access. The main house consists of an arcade of five pieces that communicates to a large room. In the front there is a staircase to the sides of which were the watering places for the livestock.
At the present the General Cemetery of Mérida is under the protection of the Municipal Public Services Department of Mérida, which is responsible for the maintaining the common areas of the complex.
In the General Cemetery you can see designs of the funerary elements with artistic influences of the XX century in Mérida. As well as there are representations of syndicates, guilds and associations among others, with mayan elements like henequen, mayan housing, etc.
In our days the General Cemetery of Mérida is organized around two perpendicular axis: the Avenue of the Mausoleums and the Avenue of the Syndicates. The first is perpendicular to the front of the hacienda of San Antonio X-Coholté and the second is parallel to it. Of particular way it emphasizes the Avenue of the Mausoleums since in these elements it is located the greater quantity of sculptures of artistic value of the cemetery and they represent in themselves a great architectonic value.
The Subdirección de Patrimonio Cultural Edificado of the Direction of Urban Development of Mérida has selected 34 funeral elements as the most representative of the artistic manifestations in the General Cemetery. The criteria for its selection were: historical importance of the deceased, quality of the execution of works of art, representativeness of the characteristics of the architectural typologies highlighted in Yucatan and the social transcendence of the group or syndicate buried there.
The Shark MKT Team presents you some of them:
1.- Mausoleum of the family Medina Ayora:
2.- Mausoleo de la familia Álvarez Escalante:
3.- Mausoleum of the Palomeque and Tamayo families:
4.- Mausoleum of Don Ramón Loza:
5.- Mausoleum of Don Lorenzo Ancona:
6.- Mausoleum of the family Espinosa Fajardo:
7.- Mausoleum of the Neve Zavala family:
8.- Funeral tomb of General Guillermo Palomino:
9.- Mausoleum of the family Medina Rodríguez: The date of purchase of the lot is the oldest that has been detected, registered with number 2 and dated May 18, 1870.
At the back of the building there is a funerary sculpture carved in white marble and signed by the Italian sculptor Almo Strenta, which is a reproduction of La Dama Triste by the genoese sculptor Giovanni Villa in 1879.
10.- Alma Reed Cinerary: This monument contains the ashes of Mrs. Alma Marie Prescott Sullivan Reed who was born in San Francisco, California in 1889 and died in 1966 in Mexico City. She was an important journalist, researcher, defender of the rights of mexican immigrants in the United States and protector of the archaeological heritage of Yucatan. He had a love affair with Governor Felipe Carrillo Puerto with whom he was to marry in 1924. In his honor the poet Luis Rosado Vega wrote the song «Peregrina», which was musicalized by Ricardo Palmerín. Since 1967 lies in front of his fiancé.
11.- Roundabout of the Socialists Illustrious: This roundabout arose in March of 1887 like «Roundabout of the Illustrious Men» on the initiative of the governor General Guillermo Palomino. After the burial of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, governor of the state of Yucatán assassinated in 1924, and of his companions of the Socialist Party of the Southeast it is start to know with his present name. In it are the most outstanding representatives of this political current, like the brothers Carrillo Puerto, Manuel Berzunza and Agustín Franco Aguilar.
12.- Roundabout of the Artistic Society Ricardo Palmerín: Here rests the remains of the most outstanding composers since the end of the 19th century in Yucatan, like: Augusto «Guty» Cárdenas Pinelo, Ricardo Palmerín Pavía, José «Pepe» Domínguez Zaldívar, Cirilo Baqueiro Preve «Chan Cil», Antonio Mediz Bolio, Luis Rosado Vega, Juan Acereto Manzanilla, Pastor Cervera Rosado, Daniel Ayala Pérez, Rubén Darío Herrera, Luis Demetrio and Luis Espinosa Alcalá. In its central part it has a bas-relief, work of the colombian Rómulo Rozo, that represents a mestiza woman who plays the guitar and of her mouth comes out musical notes.
13.- Mausoleum of the Torre Castillo family:
14 .- Execution wall of Felipe Carrillo Puerto: Felipe Carrillo Puerto and his eleven comrades were shot in front of this wall on January 3, 1924 after he was overthrown by the «delahuertistas» rebels.
15 .- Mausoleum of the Association of Pensioners and liquitaded workers of Cordemex: In 1961, with the purpose of restructuring the industry of the ropes of henequen ropes, CORDEMEX is created and was the most important company in the world in its branch until its disintegration in the decade of the nineties.
16.- Mausoleum of the Masonic Lodge:
17.- Mausoleum of the League of Workers in Artifacts of Henequen:
18.- Mausoleum of the Chinese Community of Yucatan:
“The funerary art, in all its manifestations, demonstrates the relationship that man has with the death, and also demonstrates the economic, political and social situation, not only of the individual, but also of peoples as a collectivity. However, many of the works of art that at the time represented greatness, at present, has a great deterioration, which in many cases is already irreparable. The concern should be the rescue of the artistic heritage of the General Cemetery, this as a reflection of the interest that has been increased in recent years by the society meridana in the conservation of the artistic heritage of its city. In the end, the city of the dead reflects the conditions of the city of the living”.
Shark Canal invites you to visit the General Cemetery to see the others representations of funerary art of this great place, the horary it is from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Monday to Sunday, it is located on 81A x 90 of the Centro of Mérida. It is crossed by avenues open to traffic during its opening hours. https://goo.gl/MGm4SC
We recommend that you go with respect, without entering at the Mausoleums open, without damaging the graves, and be careful with the bone remains that are outdoor. Remember that in this place rests the loved ones of the noble citizens of this city, and although they are abandoned by their owners, these artistic representations are part of the cultural heritage of Yucatan.
Finally Shark Canal would like to invite you to read and know a little more about the General Cemetery of the City of Merida, Yucatan referring to the following link: http://asri.eumed.net/1/grrc.html Available only in spanish.
Text extracted from: Gutiérrez – R. E. Rivero / Las manifestaciones artísticas de la ciudad de los muertos: El Cementerio General de Mérida, Yucatán, México.
Antgirl, in collaboration with Sharkgirl