Templo de San Bernardino


in Valladolid

MEXICO - FEBRUARY 16: The Franciscan monastery of San Bernardino, Valladolid, Yucatan. Mexico, 16th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

De Agostini/Getty Images

The Templo de San Bernardino and the adjacent Convento de Sisal are about 700m southwest of the plaza. They were constructed between 1552 and 1560 to serve the dual functions of fortress and church. The church's charming decoration includes beautiful rose-colored walls, arches, some recently uncovered 16th-century frescoes and a small image of the Virgin on the altar. These are about the only original items remaining; the grand wooden retablo (altarpiece) dates from the 19th century.

The convent's walled grounds hold a cenote with a vaulted dome over it and a system of channels that once irrigated the large garden.

At 9pm an impressive sound-and-light show (days vary according to season) takes place outside the templo, decorating the walls with the lights and shapes that reflect the history of the building.