Panoramic stitch of the courtyard of the San Antonio de Padua convent, Izamal, Yucatan state, Mexico.
Izamal is a small city in the Mexican state of Yucatán, 72 km (about 40 miles) east of state capital Mérida. Izamal was continuously occupied throughout most of Mesoamerican chronology; in 2000, the city's estimated population was 15,000 people. Izamal is known in Yucatán as "The Yellow City" (most of its buildings are painted yellow) and "The City of Hills" (though most of the "hills" are probably the remains of ancient temple pyramids).
After the Spanish conquest of Yucatán in the 16th century a Spanish colonial city was founded atop the existing Maya one, however it was decided that it would take a prohibitively large amount of work to level these two huge structures and so the Spanish contented themselves with placing a small Christian temple atop the great pyramid and building a large Franciscan Monastery atop the acropolis. It was named after San Antonio de Padua. Completed in 1561, the atrium of the Monastery was second in size only to that at the Vatican. Much of the cut stone from the Pre-Columbian city was reused to build the Spanish churches, monastery, and surrounding buildings.
Izamal was the first chair of the Bishops of Yucatán before they were moved to Mérida. The fourth Bishop of Yucatán, Diego de Landa lived here.