Church of San Servasio, Valladolid, Yucatan




The only church that does not look to Rome and the crime of passion that changed its architecture

In the late 17th century, Mr. Fernando Hipolito Osorno was sent to the city of Valladolid as captain general. Osorno, a man of strong character and high rank in Spanish society, was also known for easily falling in love, a quality that would eventually be the cause of his death. It turns out that Captain Osorno became involved with the girlfriend of Valladolid’s greater sub-lieutenant, Don Miguel Ruiz Ayuso, who quietly planned his revenge. Because of political issues, Osorno was later removed from office and taken to jail under several charges; fearing for his life, he managed to escape and took refuge in the Church of San Gervasio, requesting asylum. In 1706, Don Miguel Ruiz Ayuso became the mayor of Valladolid; the new mayor had Osorno forced out of the sacred precincts and beaten to death, an act that the Catholic Church saw as a tremendous desecration. Some time later, the temple’s facade was rebuilt as we see it today, and to prevent the new altar from holding the same position in which it was when it was profaned, it was repositioned. That’s why the church faces north, unlike every other colonial temple in Yucatan, which looks west to Rome.


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