Bacalar and San Felipe!!

Ok so giving life to older posts with new text and some older or newer photos in my blog. The name to some will tell you I am in Mexico. This was a memorable visit just north of this have now family as reading previous posts.

So we go on with some exotic parts of Mexico lindo y querido. Not taking you to the popular areas anyone can do that, I like to take you to seldom and little seen Mexico down in a popular State of a well known region but a bit south of it all towards Belize. I will be talking about Bacalar in Quintana Roo, Yucatàn, Mexico.

I will tell you here the visit to historical San Felipe fortress/museum.

Bacalar is a town located on the southeast side of Mexico, in the state of Quintana Roo. The city is bordered on the east by the lagoon of Bacalar, which overlooks the Caribbean Sea. All of this part of the Yucatàn peninsula. The name Bacalar is believed to have gotten its name from b’ak halal, or ‘surrounded by reeds’ in Mayan, with a lagoon – the Laguna de Bacalar or ‘Lake of the Seven Colors’s to the east of the city.  Bacalar lies a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Tulum and around a 40-minute drive from the city of Chetumal (see post) which sits on the border to Belize.

The first inhabitants of the place are the Mayas in pre-Columbian times. In 1543, the city was taken and occupied by the Spanish conquistadors. In 1545, it was  established a Spanish town in the same place and baptized it Salamanca de Bacalar. In 1848, during the Caste war, the rebel Mayans based in Chan Santa Cruz (the current city of Felipe Carrillo Puerto) took the city. The Mexican army reclaims it in 1902.

The Fort of San Felipe was built in 1733 under the order of don Antonio de Figueroa y Silva, field marshal of Yucatan, to protect the Bacalar population from the frequent attacks by pirates from the Caribbean and to defend the region from harassment from the traders of wood in Campeche. In the second half of the 19C, during the so-called War of the Castes, the fortress once again became the scene of skirmishes for the possession of the fortress. It has recently been restored and sits looking over Lake Bacalar in the center of town.

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The fort is built in the form of a four-pointed star and has a moat 4 meters deep.  It was designed by the Italian Juan Podio, and developed based on limestone, marine and volcanic stones. It has 11 cannons, although formerly it had about 34, which were located in places such as the Baluarte de Santa Ana, and also the Baluarte de San José. In the first section of its construction included: 4 bastions called Santa Ana, San Arturo, Santa María and San Joaquín, a plant shaped like a four pointed star, a building shaped like a rectangle, at that time the highest in the construction, which was baptized with the name of Jesús María, which was equipped with a gunpowder store, a chapel, a room for the commander, a supply or food store, a weapons room and a troop accommodation.  Over the years, embankments for bastions, a moat with a drawbridge were added to this fort, the number of cannons was increased, the parapets were improved, as well as the facilities of the High Knight were increased and improved, building new sentry boxes and raising the curtains of the fort. From its towers and watchtowers, you can see the large lagoon area covered by the lookouts.

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The fort San Felipe contains a museum of local history and nice recreations since 1983. The plaques on the museum are in both English and Spanish and there is free parking nearby. Today, this Museum has surround sound, 6 giant video screens, where recreations of pirate attacks and much of the history of Bacalar are projected.

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More on the museum in San Felipe fort and other cultural sites from a local webpage soy de bacalar in Spanish here: https://soybacalar.com/informacion/cultura

And on Mexico Cultural site in Spanish: https://www.mexicoescultura.com/recinto/52178/museo-del-fuerte-de-san-felipe-bacalar.html

A well known webpage there Zona Turistica in English on the museum of San Felipe: https://www.zonaturistica.com/en/things-to-do/quintana-roo/bacalar/museum-of-fort-san-felipe-bacalar

Local government on the history of Bacalar in Spanish: http://www.bacalar.gob.mx/historiabacalar.html

The Mexico tourist board on Bacalar in English: https://www.visitmexico.com/en/quintana-roo/bacalar

There now you are loaded with info and I have updated the text , hope you enjoy this beautiful tranquil part of Mexico. Bacalar is awesome!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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