Posts tagged: yucatan

Valladolid, Mexico

Valladolid, named after the capital of Spain at the time, was first established by Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Montejo’s nephew on May 28, 1543. Originally, the city was some distance away from it’s current location, at a lagoon called Chouac-Ha. However, early Spanish settlers complained about the mosquitos and humidity at the original location, and petitioned to have the city moved further inland.

On March 24, 1545, Valladolid was relocated to its current location, built atop a Maya town called Zaci-Val, whose buildings were dismantled to reuse the stones to build the Spanish colonial town. The following year the Maya people revolted, but were put down with additional Spanish troops coming from Mérida.

Valladolid had a population of 15,000 in 1840. The city and the surrounding region was the scene of intense battle during Yucatán’s Caste War, and the Latino forces were forced to abandon Valladolid on March 14, 1848, with half being killed by ambush before they reached Mérida. The city was sacked by the Maya rebels but was recaptured later in the war.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, Valladolid was the third largest and most important city of the Yucatán Peninsula, (after Mérida and Campeche). It had a sizable well-to-do Criollo population, with a number of old Spanish style mansions in the old city. Valladolid was widely known under its nickname The Sultaness of the East.