After heated resistance and several defeats, Francisco de Montejo, father and son, conquered Yucatán in the 16th century. We tell you who Francisco de Montejo is and why his name is repeated in the most important places in the city.

Who was Francisco de Montejo?

In beautiful Mérida almost everything bears the name of Francisco de Montejo. Schools, museums, main streets, monuments and even a neighborhood. But Who was Francisco de Montejo?

He was born in Salamanca, Spain and belonged to the generation of men who, under the command of Carlos V, were part of the conquest of Mexico. Together with Hernán Cortes he reached the Mexican coast and from there began to subdue the original peoples of the region. 

Francisco de Montejo
Facade of the Casa de los Montejo. Located in the historic center, the first painting of the city. Museum open to the public.

In 1527, Francisco de Montejo set out to conquer Yucatán, but was defeated by the native peoples. Three years later, he returned with his son Francisco de Montejo y León, but again he could not dominate the indigenous population.

Finally, a third attempt in 1537 was successful with the advance of Spanish troops in the northeast of the peninsula. This military success motivated them to continue with the strategy until they reached the city of T'hó, where founded the city of Merida on January 6, 1542.

In the 16th century Francisco de Montejo Jr. founded Mérida on the ruins of the ancient Mayan city. Characters like Nachí Cocom, defended the Mayan territory tooth and nail; however, defeat was imminent.

The conquest of Yucatán is a page in history written in the blood of the Mayan people, dictated by the voice of abuse and unfairly told by those who had the power of the word. It is unknown how much truth and fiction has been mixed and lost over the years.

After the victory of the Spanish troops, his father, Francisco de Montejo became governor of the region. During his tenure, he benefited his relatives with land and He is remembered for his culture of submission and slavery to indigenous peoples. He died in exile in Seville.

Imposition and rebellion. We just mentioned who Francisco de Montejo is. However, in the history of Yucatan, it is also worth remembering Jacinto Canek, who led an indigenous rebellion against the government in 1761.

The fighting resulted in the death of thousands of natives and the execution of Canek in the city of Mérida. However, he is remembered for his warrior spirit, rebellious and difficult to conquer.

Read: Paseo de Montejo, an avenue to walk on the soul of Yucatan.

What makes up the Yucatan peninsula

The territories of the Yucatan peninsula and their respective limitations, played a leading role in the fight and strategy against the Spanish. In the Chronicles of the Indies are some sketches to determine the territories of the peninsula of the new continent.

who was francisco de montejo
Photo by Mila Albrecht on Unsplash. Corner of downtown Mérida.

When Mexico finally gained independence from Spain in February 1821, Yucatán became part of the Independent Mexican Empire, but remained a remote province until 1824, when it was divided into three states: Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán.

What makes up the Yucatan peninsula? It currently consists of 3 states. Yucatán is the most important. Its capital, Mérida, sums up everything that makes up the Yucatan Peninsula: culture, miscegenation and extraordinary landscapes.

Another state that makes up the Yucatan Peninsula is Campeche. It was one of the last bastions of Mayan resistance; played an important role in fighting pirates and has wonderful locations. Therefore it is known as the walled city.

Quintana Roo is the third state that integrates the peninsula. It is the tourist destination par excellence. Some cities like Playa del Carmen and Cancun have grown significantly. Economically attracts hundreds of investments. 

Colonia Francisco de Montejo

As we anticipated, the name of Montejo is repeated in different parts of Mérida. For example, The Francisco de Montejo neighborhood is located northwest of Mérida and is the largest subdivision in the city.

We recommend you read: The three best areas to live in Mérida.

Surrounded by trees and connected to the city center by different avenues, the Francisco de Montejo neighborhood is one of the most populated in Mérida. More than 40 thousand people live in that area.

Near Francisco de Montejo there are many apartments and houses for rent at affordable prices. So it is the chosen one of many families.

Francisco de Montejo
Monument Francisco de Montejo father and son looking towards the expansion of the city of Merida. Cover photo.

With a great infrastructure, the Francisco de Montejo neighborhood began to be built in the 90s in five stages. The last phase ended in the 21st century.

With a great commercial movement, near Francisco de Montejo you will find different types of shops and restaurants.

Also near Francisco de Montejo are other subdivisions or important areas such as Xcumpich, Pinzón, Dzityá and Chuburná.

Paseo de Montejo

Finally another landmark in the city, which bears the name of the conqueror, is the Paseo de Montejo. Its beautiful architecture with stately mansions is part of the incredible architectural heritage of Mérida.

Near Francisco de Montejo is located the Historic Center and the most important buildings of the city.

Undoubtedly know who Francisco de Montejo was is synonymous with knowing the birth of Mérida YucatánWhat other character do you associate with the history of the city?

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