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All about El Minaret in Mérida, Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Amazing Places

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Author: Tobias

El Minaret is one of the most iconic buildings on Paseo de Montejo. It also houses the Yerba Mérida restaurant. El Minaret in Mérida, Mexico is only 1km away from Casa Loltún. It is located in the city center of Mérida, so you can comfortably stroll the short distance. The admission fee for foreign adults is about 100MXN. Different prices may apply for residents or children.

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Address:

El Minaret, Paseo de Montejo, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexiko

Website:

Category:

More Places

Phone:

+52 999 357 2864

Distance:

1km from Casa Loltún

Travel Time:

Within the city

Admission:

Mex$ 100

Price Level:

Inexpensive

Since:

1908

Google Rating:

average rating is 4.7 out of 5, based on 887 votes, Ratings

Opening Hours:

• Monday: 2:00 PM – 1:00 AM
• Tuesday: 2:00 PM – 1:00 AM
• Wednesday: 2:00 PM – 1:00 AM
• Thursday: 2:00 PM – 2:00 AM
• Friday: 2:00 PM – 2:00 AM
• Saturday: 2:00 PM – 2:00 AM
• Sunday: 2:00 PM – 2:00 AM

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Casa Loltún Vacation Rentals

Rent a wonderful restored 19th-century colonial house or a new apartment in the historic city center of Mérida. This is an amazing opportunity for anyone looking for a unique and beautiful place to stay!

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El Minaret

El Minaret is another iconic French-style mansion on Paseo de Montejo. Built in 1908 (at the end of the Porfiriato period) by the owner Dr. Alvaro Medina Ayora and his brother Miguel Medina Ayora, the building was formerly known as "Casa del Minarete".


It was built as a residential building in neoclassical style and got its name from the characteristic element of the building, a minaret in Arabic style.


At that time, many large houses were built on the Paseo de Montejo. El Minaret is one of the few mansions that have survived to this day in their original style.


Like for example the Casas Gemelas, the Palacio Canton or El Pinar, the building is evidence of the economic success that the "era of green gold" - the period of Henequén that coincided with the Porfiriato - brought to some privileged people.


El Minaret was sold in 1971 by Dr. Álvaros Medina's three adult children (Álvaro Jr., Maria Luisa and Virginia). Extensive renovation work was then carried out.


For example, there was once an underground cenote in the garden of the house. But in the course of the renovation, the cenote was filled in and the garden next to the house was turned into a large parking lot.


Utilization options


Today El Minaret describes itself as an artistic center that combines art, culture and events. And indeed El Minaret has many faces. The upscale restaurant Yerba Mérida has for example its location in the building.


There are also regular events (for example small concerts) or you can rent El Minaret for an event (the property is very popular for larger weddings).


You can visit the tower and enjoy a beautiful panorama view from the top of the minaret. The tower is open between 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from October to April and 10:00 am to 8:00 pm from May to September (admission fee: 100 pesos)


You will also find El Minaret on Facebook and Instagram.


The little ghost of El Minaret


As with so many famous buildings in Mérida, also El Minaret is surrounded by a dark story. Miguel Medina, the brother of Dr. Alvaro Medina Ayora, likely had an affair with a young Mayan servant girl called Rosario, who became pregnant. When the child (a boy) was born, Rosario was taken to a village far away and left in the care of relatives.


It is not known what then happened to her. However, it is assumed that the child remained in El Minaret and was given a different name to that of its mother. The two brothers must have argued frequently about the situation and one night the child disappeared.


It is said that Miguel Medina one night took the boy with him and suffocated him, and buried the little child's body in an underground cenote in the garden of the house. Since then, passers-by have reported hearing the muffled cries of a suffocated child late at night.


It is the ghost of the little boy gasping for air from his grave deep inside the cenote. Others also report the agonized cries and sobs of a man: "No tengo otra" ("I have no other choice"). Did he really have no other choice?

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