Home Base Of Hostel La Parroquia, Campeche, Mexico

Campeche Travel Blog

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Hostel La Parroquia is located  on Calle 55 Number 8 between Calle 10 and Calle 12, in the central colonial district of Campeche. Hostel La Parroquia is in a 17th century colonial house 10 minutes from the bus station. There is a good restaurant located next door with the same name that is open 24/7. The hostel breakfast is served at this restaurant. The facilities include bathroom and shower facilities, 24-hour restaurant and bar, a roof top terrace with loungers and hammocks, communal kitchen, laundry room, entertainment room with a ping pong table, internet service ($10/hour), bike rental,  information desk, currency exchange, a small retail area of local crafts.  I have stayed here twice and had no complaints. The staff was very knowledgeable of Campeche City and State.
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They were always friendly and helpful. The facility is well kept and clean.

Campeche State is occupies the southeast portion of the Yucatan Peninsula. Campeche has is 21,665-square  miles and includes two islands. It is bourdered on the north and northeast by the State of Yucatan, the east by the State of Quintana Roo and the country of Belize, the south by the country of Guatemala, the southwest by the State of Tabasco, and the west and northwest by the Gulf of Mexico.

The Maya city of Champoton was founded around 300 AD and was the principal town of the Mayan district Ah Kin Pech ("serpent tick"). On March 22, 1517 an army lead by Francisco de Cordova attempted to invaded Champoton.

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Cordova's army was soundly defeated by Maya forces lead by Moch Couoh. Cordova died of his wounds. The location of this battle is known and has been named as "Bay of the Bad Fight". Francisco de Montejo and his son attempted to conquer this area in 1527 and 1537 but failed sustaining heavy loses. Montejo's son in 1540 returned with a much larger force and better equipped and successfully subdued this area capturing Kin Pech and Acanul. Montejo founded the Villa de San Fransisco de Campeche in 1540 atop the pre-existing Maya city of Canpech or Kimpech. The Precolumbian city was described by the Spanish as having 3,000 houses and monuments. Very little remains of this histiry. Montejo later moved on to occupy Tenabo, Helcelchakan and Calkini. 

Campeche developed into a major port, first dealing in the export of precious metals and then moving onto the business of acquiring and distributing slaves.

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The church systematically removed all traces of Mayan religious beliefs and attempted to replace them with Christian beliefs. The church made the practice of the native religion a crime with a death penalty. Campeche's greatest wealth was the result of the accidental discovery of a valued dye contained in a certain species of trees. An entire industry developed to acquire this dye and export it to Europe. Once news of this dye spread, many new parties became interested in Campeche and the wealth provided by the dye industry. Ultimately a pirate federation was formed to control the movement of the exported dye to take what they thought to be their fair share of the profit. Eventually the pirate federation began to attack and loot the city of Campeche. These attacks occurred from 1597 to 1685. The pirates included  Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Laurens de Graff, Kornelius Jols, Jacobo Jackson, Jean Lafittr, Francisco de Gammont, Bartolome Portugues, William Parker, Francisco Nau, Edward Mansvelt, Henry Morgan, Lewsi Scot, Roche Braziliano and Michel de Grammont.
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In 1686 the government started to fortify the city. Campeche became a target, "a spoil of war" during the on going conflicts involving Spain, Portugal, England, Holland and France. The pirate federation grew in strength and in 1663 attacked and captured Campeche. The pirates tortured and murdered a majority of Campeche's citizens in an attempt t find and take all the wealth of the city. The King of Spain had to act, beginning in 1668 a walled fortification system was engineered and constructed. In addition, 2  hilltop forts were constructed to protected the city, the forts of San José el Alto and San Miguel.
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These forts gave long-range artillery coverage and served also as look-outs.  The French engineer Louis Bouchard de Becour was commissioned to unify all the defensive works that surrounded the city with a wall. The wall surrounding the city 3,000 yard long. It formed an irregular hexagon around the main part of the city, with 8 bastions. During 20 years of construction all most 2 square miles of the city was encircled. A section of this wall was extended out into the gulf to provide a fortified safe harbor to load and off load cargo. These walls were more than 10 feet thick and provided a pathway atop them to permit the movement of artillery, men and munitions. These fortification were dismantled and used as construction materials for buildings and street once the need for these fortification decreased. Historically the city is divided into 3 sections.
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North of the walled portion of the city was the traditional Maya population, the walled center section is the colonial Spanish section and south of the walled city is the area occupied by the mestizos and mulattos and Spanish, Maya, Caribbean population mixture. THe market specializing in handicraft is located at the site of the former Fort of San Pedro. An interesting feature of this area are the many secret passages beneath the current street level that once linked various parts of the city provided a means of escape when the fort was being attacked. Some believe that some of these passageways are from the time of Maya occupation.Campece is easy to get around. The streets running north-south are even numbers and the streets running east-west are odd numbers. The street numbers ascend towards the south and east. The State of Campeche maintaines a tourist office on the north side of the Parque Principal, the main plaza, on calle 57.
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The city of Campeche operates a tourist office on Calle 55 at Calle 8, west of the cathedral.

The things to see in Campeche are the 7 surviving city bastions "Baluartes", Baluarte de San Carlos has a must see dungeon and the city museum, Baluarte de la Soledad is the site of the Museo de Estelas Maya with several stelae, the Baluarte of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad where you will find the hall of stelaes, Baluarte Santiago (reconstructed) has the Botanical Garden 'Xmuch´haltún'. Baluarte San Francisco protects the Land Gate and houses the library of the INAH and is the site of the light and sound show three nights each week, the Mansion Carvajal is the house of the Carvajal family with Arabic arcs and flights of steps made of marble, the Cathedral of the Conception, the Main Square, with numerous examples of Spanish Colonial architecture, the 16th century Church of San Francisco, the San Francisco de Paulo Toro Park, and Theater, the Casa del Teniente del Rey (regional museum), the "museum"  House of the Lieutenant of the King with 12th to 19th century weapons, the Puenta de Tierra sound and light show, the Malecon and the Casa de las Artesanias, Fort San Miguel houses a pre-Hispanic Museum, Fort San José houses a collection of boats and weapons of the period.

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patirkc_AAA says:
Nice post, so many cool ruins near Campeche!
Posted on: Nov 12, 2015
almond72 says:
Poor Campeche, having Europeans fight over the place and ruining it. Quite like Melaka / Malacca town in Malaysia. The Portugese / Dutch / English took turns over it incl. skirmishes with pirates (european trading houses)Good thing it still survived and got rebuilt nicely.
The great amerian continent - still haven't been there. looking forward to it with all these lovely informative articles.
Posted on: Jun 19, 2009
ahaduca says:
seems interesting...nice blog!
Posted on: May 09, 2009
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photo by: Biedjee