AAA Editor Notes
Franciscan Monastery (Convento de San Antonio de Padua) is bordered by calles 31 and 33 n. and s. and calles 28 and 30 e. and w., dominating the main plaza. Dedicated by the Spanish to St. Anthony of Padua, it was later known as the Church of Our Lady of Izamal (Santuario de la Virgen de Izamal). The church was completed in 1561 atop the remains of a Mayan pyramid; Franciscan monks later constructed the monastery. The Fiesta of the Virgin of Izamal is celebrated annually on Aug. 15 in the monastery's enormous arcaded courtyard.
The building's simple, mustard-colored exterior contrasts with the rough-hewn, fortress-like monastery compound; the original access ramps and stairways built by the Maya remain. A small museum within the complex commemorates Pope John Paul II's 1993 visit.