What a shock when we drove into the yellow city! Who knew such a thing existed? We were just driving along, taking the less-travelled and non-toll road from Telchac to Cancun for our flight home, when we came upon the yellow city.
At first, we thought it was only a few streets.
But then everywhere we drove in the city… it was yellow, yellow, yellow.
It reminded us of the song, Mellow Yellow.
“Oh”, I exclaimed, “This must be the yellow city we read about!” We had crossed it off the list of ‘Must See’s’ when we realized it was too far from our home base in Merida. Now we were glad that we somehow accidentally navigated to it.
Every single house and every single building, on every single block and every single street, had been painted a golden-yellow. It was mesmerizing to see, and very cheerful. T wondered why they did that. He said that if he lived there, he might just paint his house purple.
The Yellow City is Izamal is one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos (Magic Towns) because it was an important Maya religious center. Since 1000 BC, Mayans have made pilgrimages here to show respect to the God of healing, resurrection, arts, writing, and agriculture. We didn’t have time to climb the ruins but four large pyramids overlook the town, one over a block wide and offering glorious views over the surrounding lands. Izamal is also nicknamed La Ciudad Armarillo (The Yellow City).
The Convento de San Antonio de Padua (Convent of San Antonio Padua), an enormous Franciscan monastery and one of the oldest Catholic monasteries in North and South America, sprawls across the town centre. Of course it is painted – you’ll never guess – sunny yellow.
Yellow is certainly a happy colour because everyone was smiling from ear to ear.
There was even a yellow horse and carriage. Not a yellow horse, of course (sounds like Dr. Seuss), but a yellow carriage with a brown horse in a yellow hat!
The Yellow City of Izamal: unusual and unique.
Thinking about it, we see more unusual places in our travels when we are lost, or on a different route, or just on our way to somewhere else, than almost any other way. We love pleasant travel surprises, don’t you?
P.S. T says he wouldn’t mind being the guy who sold the yellow paint in this town.