Where to Go / What to Do in Campeche

San Francisco de Campeche was founded in late 1540 and is the oldest city of Southern Mexico's peninsula. Its great colorful mansions light up the Historic Center and its traditional neighborhoods, with varying architectural styles, have been perfectly kept in their baroque colonial style as a beautiful sample of a walled urban center with abundant arches, morisks, neoclassic friezes and art deco, Marseilles roofs, floors of elaborate design and watchtowers looking out to the bay. This quality earned it the title of World Heritage by UNESCO.

Added to these elegant scenarios of mansions and gardens is its omnipresent religious architecture of sober Franciscan beauty and elegant talavera in the Jesuit style. Some of them are excellent samples of the best peninsular baroque styles. Added to this display are the fortified walls up to six meters high that served as watchtowers to protect San Francisco Plaza from pirate attacks.

The Campeche Carnival has been an annual celebration for over 450 years, the oldest in the country and it is a great party that lasts 5 days. It concludes with the burning of Juan Carnival who represents the party's spirit. The Black Christ Fair of San Roman is the most important festival in the state. It originated by the worship of the Black Christ since it was brought to Campeche in 1685. The San Francisco de Asis celebrations are held in honor of the city's emblem patron (as shown in its coat of arms), and happen only a week after the Black Christ celebration.

Puerta del Mar is one of the four access doors that existed in this walled city, where the fiscal dock once was for receiving the boats arriving from the high seas, generally from Spain. The original construction dates back to 1732 and you can now enjoy a wonderful light and sound show at this military jewel, named "“The pirate Spirit"”, where a sentinel guides you through the walls and tells you the darkest secrets of this city, once coveted by corsairs and pirates.

The Church of San Roque or San Francisquito, safeguards a beautiful altarpiece of Salomon columns, the predominant style of late baroque in Mexico after 1740 and the Former Temple of San Jose, built by the Jesuits, is a fine sample of the highest quality colonial style.

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