Spanish Churches

Ruins in Lamanai

Some 400yd south of Jaguar Temple are the remains of the thick stone walls of two Spanish colonial churches, which were built by Maya forced labor from the remains of a temple. The southern church was built in 1544, and the northern one in the 1560s. Both were destroyed by the Maya, the second one in the 1640 rebellion.

Unknown to the Spanish, the Maya placed sacred objects such as crocodile figurines inside the churches while building them. A 300yd path opposite the churches leads to the partly overgrown remains of a 19th-century sugar mill, which some say directly contributed to the final abandonment of Lamanai by bringing new diseases into the area.