Mérida

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Mérida

(mā`rēthä), city (1990 pop. 523,422), capital of Yucatán state, SE Mexico. It is the chief commercial, communications, and cultural center of the Yucatán peninsula. Founded (1542) by Francisco de MontejoMontejo, Francisco de
, c.1479–c.1548, Spanish conquistador. He served in Cuba under Diego Velásquez, later commanded a vessel in the expedition of Juan de Grijalva, and joined Hernán Cortés in the conquest of Mexico.
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, the younger, on the site of a ruined Mayan city, Mérida has many fine examples of Spanish colonial architecture, notably the 16th-century cathedral. Rooftop windmills, characteristic of this region, are used to pump water from underground wells and streams. The limited nature of the soil has made Mérida commercially dependent upon the large crops of henequen (see sisal hempsisal hemp
[from Sisal, former chief port of Yucatan], important cordage fiber obtained from the leaves of the sisal hemp plant, an extensively cultivated tropical agave (family Agavaceae or Liliaceae).
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) from the surrounding region, and on tourists visiting nearby Mayan ruins, notably Chichén ItzáChichén Itzá
, city of the ancient Maya, central Yucatán, Mexico. It was founded around two large cenotes, or natural wells. According to one system of dating, it was founded c.
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 and UxmalUxmal
, ancient city, northern Yucatán peninsula, Mexico. A Late Classic period Maya center situated in the Puuc hills, Uxmal flourished between 600 and 900. It is one of the finest expressions of Maya architecture known as the Puuc style.
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.

Mérida,

city (1990 pop. 53,732), Badajoz prov., SW Spain, in Extremadura, on the Guadiana River. It is a rail hub and agricultural center producing textiles, leather, and cork. The colony Emerita Augusta, founded by the Romans in the 1st cent. B.C., it became the capital of LusitaniaLusitania
, Roman province in the Iberian Peninsula. As constituted (c.A.D. 5) by Augustus it included all of modern central Portugal as well as much of W Spain. The province took its name from the Lusitani, a group of warlike tribes who, despite defeats, resisted Roman
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. Its Roman remains, among the most important in Spain, include a magnificent bridge, a triumphal arch, a theater with marble columns, an aqueduct, a temple, an imposing circus, and an amphitheater. Mérida was later the chief city of Visigothic Lusitania. It fell (713) to the Moors, under whom it prospered. Conquered (1228) by Alfonso IX of León, it was given to the Knights of Santiago but quickly declined.

Mérida

(mārē`dĕ), city (1990 pop. 170,902), capital of Mérida state, W Venezuela. The highest city in Venezuela, Mérida has fishing and a variety of light manufacturing, in addition to such popular tourist activities as skiing and mountaineering. Founded in 1558, it became a religious and educational center. It is the site of the Universidad de los Andes (1785).

Mérida

 

a city in southeastern Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula, and the administrative center of the state of Yucatan. Population, 253,800 (1970). Mérida is a highway and railroad junction and has an international airport. It is the center of one of the world’s largest henequen-producing regions, and its chief industries are textiles (henequen processing), food processing, and metalworking. Products are shipped through the port of Progreso. Mérida has a university and is a popular tourist center.

Mérida’s rectangular network of streets follows the layout of the ancient Maya city on whose site it was built. Most of the buildings dating from the 16th through the 18th century resemble fortresses. Noteworthy buildings include the San Ildefonso Cathedral (1563-99; principal architects, P. de Aulestia and F. de Alarcón), whose south tower was added in 1713; the San Francisco monastery (1561; architect, A. de Tarancón), Montejo House (1549-51), built in the plateresque style; and the churches of Las Monjas (1610-33), La Mejorada (1640), La Tercera (late 17th century), San Cristóbal (1755-99), and San Juan de Dios (1770). The Yucatán Museum of Archaeology and History contains collections of Maya pottery and sculpture and artworks dating from the colonial period.

REFERENCE

Cervantes, E. A. Bosquejo del desarrollo de la ciudad de Mérida. Mexico City, 1945.

Mérida

 

a city in western Venezuela and the administrative center of the state of Mérida. Population, 75,600 (1970). Mérida is a transportation junction and is the center of an agricultural region. The food-processing and textile industries are located there.

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