The convent of San Miguel Arcángel de Maní is one of the most relevant sacred art jewels in Yucatán. Today, almost four and a half centuries after its construction, it still stands majestically Despite the years of abandonment, this is a convent that patiently awaits its announced rescue.
It was built with the work and effort of six thousand descendants of the pre-Hispanic dynasty of the Xiues around 1559, it is also the third convent built of its category in the Yucatan Peninsula. The structural qualities of the religious construction, the work of the architect Fray Juan Mérida, are obvious just by contemplating the wide façade that adorns the main square of the town, where the primitive open or “Indian” chapel and the Current temple, crowned by two belfries, each with three spaces located at both ends of the main access. A stone statue of the Archangel Saint Michael complements the austere decoration of the frontispiece.
The detail of the carved stone arches that surround the wooden doors, the inscriptions at the main entrance, the shield of the Minor Franciscan order, the stone walkways and the architectural arrangement of the complex are worthy of admiration. Its historical characteristics are very important, despite the controversies they cause. The life of the inhabitants of Maní has developed around the religious site, its wide atrium, the spacious garden and the mystical charm of the old Franciscan construction.
The mentioned catalog also indicates: “The main altarpiece, which covers the back wall of the presbytery, is made up of three bodies divided vertically by Corinthian columns, between which and filling the spaces, there are niches with sculptures of saints , except for the last body that has a bas-relief representing the Eternal Father.”
Four wooden religious images, apparently the oldest, are on the main altarpiece. It is possible to identify Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Francis of Assisi. The side altars of the Maní church also attract attention, despite the deterioration of the moldings and wooden figures.
In the Convent of Maní, whose patron is San Miguel Archangel victor of the Dragon (Satan), according to the holy scriptures, time seems to have stopped. arrested.
The silence that floods the corridors and the interior garden invite the visitor's imagination to fly. You can almost glimpse the footprints of the friars who lived there, hear the Gregorian charms or the sound of the waterwheel with which water was extracted to irrigate the orchard; You can also perceive the aroma of incense or the heat of the candles and candlesticks lit before a religious image, and consumed until the wax acquires whimsical, fragile shapes.
The town of Maní is located 100 kilometers south of Mérida and 14 kilometers east of Ticul, on the Ruta de los Conventos.