Santa Ana Neighborhood: Interesting Historical Facts

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One of the most beloved areas in Mérida Centro is the Santa Ana neighborhood. This vibrant and historic area offers something for everyone, from incredible restaurants and shopping to cultural attractions and breathtaking architecture. Whether you’re a local or a tourist looking to explore the area, this article helps you discover the best of Santa Ana neighborhood. With helpful tips on where to eat, what to see, and how to get around, you’ll be able to make the most of your time in this beautiful part of Mexico.

History of Santa Ana Neighborhood

  • Between 1725 and 1733, at the corner of what is now Calle 60 at 47, one of the famous arches of Mérida was built to demarcate the outskirts of the city. Unfortunately, it was demolished in the 19th century. This arch was similar to the ones found in San Juan and Mejorada. 
  • Santa Ana Park was famous for the orange trees found in the square. It was also the lcoation of a famous bakery “Los Catalanes” distributed its exquisite bread in carts pulled by mules wearing bells on their necks. This bakery is attributed with the invention of pan frances.
  • Interestingly, Santa Ana church is very plain, both inside & outside. Santa Ana church is easily identified by the pyramidal spires as well as the raised platform foundation, most likely a former Maya temple platform. It is said that the very old bell in Santa Ana church has the most pleasant sound of any church bell in the city.
  • While Santa Lucia was the site of the first cemetery in Mérida, it was soon moved to Santa Ana. Then in the 1880’s, it was moved to its current location in San Sebastian. The reason the cemetery was moved was that construction on the Paseo de Montejo had begun. The Santa Ana neighborhood was becoming a more desirable place to live. Once the cemetery was moved, it also forced out the residents to more southern parts of the city.
  • Eventually, Santa Ana extended as far north as where the Hyatt and Fiesta Americana are today. You can see evidence of the grand houses along Calle 60 as you travel north ending with El Pinar (across from the Hyatt) with its pink, gingerbread style.
  • Calle 60 is known as art gallery row with the park featuring local Yucatecan cuisine found on many YouTube videos.
  • The first promenade in the city was NOT the Paseo de Montejo as many believe. It is actually the street that runs parallel to the Paseo from Plaza Grande. Calle 60 continues north past Santa Lucia Park, Santa Ana Park, and then to Progreso. Calle 60 had its own aristocratic section on the promenade. You’ll see evidence of the grand times past once you cross Calle 37 where Casa Azul boutique hotel is located. A few of the opulant houses have been restored while others lay in vaious stages of ruin.

Centro Neighborhoods in Merida Mexico

Santa Ana Mercado

This is one of the local markets made famous by YouTubers worldwide. For authentic traditional local Yucatecan food, you can’t beat the salbutes, panuchos, tortas, and fresh juices in the park. Not only is this a great people watching place, you’ll find locals, tourists, and vendors selling a variety of goods from clothing to accessories to honey to vanilla to other local products.

Santa Ana Events

8:00 pm Saturday – Noches Mexicana at the Remate
Handcrafts, food, dance, music, & a show are featured during this unique event.

Santa Ana Events, Restaurants, & Nightlife

SATURDAY

  • Noches Mexicana – Calle 56A #485 y Paseo de Montejo (Remate)

Different states and regions of Mexico are represented through dance, music, and other artistic art forms. Food and handcraft vendors set up for delicious treats and local trinkets during this unique event starting at 9:00 pm.

  • Santa Ana Mercado – Calle 47 & 60

For authentic traditional local Yucatecan food, you can’t beat the salbutes, panuchos, & tortas in the park.

  • Little India – Calle 57 #529 X 64 Y 66

Authentic Indian food right here in the city! Great selection including vegetarian options at this family owned restaurant with a beatiful patio.

  • El Apapacho – Calle 62 #354 x 41 y 43

Local favorite for organic, vegan & vegetarion options all made by hand with love.

  • Dzalbay Cantina – Calle 64 x 53

The house of Jazz in Mérida. Historical and bohemian bar with craft beers, mezcal, signature cocktails and the best live music in the city

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