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History of La Ermita neighborhood in Mérida

The names La Ermita or Ermita are interchangeable. This neighborhood has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. Originally, it was a rural area outside the city walls where farmers and ranchers settled. However, as the city began to grow, the area became more developed. Soon, it became a popular residential neighborhood.

Throughout the years, La Ermita has experienced many changes, from the introduction of new businesses to the restoration of historic homes. Despite these changes, the neighborhood has managed to maintain its charm and character, making it a beloved spot among both locals and tourists alike. Today, La Ermita is known for its picturesque streets lined with colorful homes, a tranquil park, and welcoming atmosphere.

Our Lady of the Good Journey Church in La Ermita

One of the most notable landmarks in La Ermita is the church. Built in the late 1800’s, it is a beautiful example of colonial architecture. Dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Buen Viaje or Our Lady of the Good Journey, the Ermita Church was originally built in the 1700s as a wayfarer’s shrine. Moreover, this was the last place to say your prayers before you set out to Campeche, a dangerous trip west at that particular time.

Our Lady of the Good Journey is Mérida‘s equivalent of Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers.

Interestingly, there’s a small, beautiful garden and patio with access through a wooden door just across from the park. The garden contains medicinal and ornamental plants and trees along with a variety of flowers, ferns, and shrubs, all native Yucatecan species. Yes, entry is free but access is limited. If the door is open, peek your head in and ask to see the garden. Caution, some say the garden has ghosts.

The park in front of the church was renovated a few years ago with a new playground, Wi-Fi connections, and computer docking stations. The streets around La Ermita have been reset and repaved with the original bricks

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