Iglesia de San Servacio o Gervacio

The Iglesia de San Servacio, or the Church of Saint Servatius, is located in the beautiful colonial city of Valladolid on the south edge of the Parque Francisco Canton. The city itself was founded by Fancisco de Montejo on May 23, 1543 after he and his forces defeated and suppressed the Zaci Mayans. The city was named in tribute to the then capital of Spain, Valladolid. The original site of the city was moved to more favorable land in 1545 and soon after construction began on the Iglesia de San Servacio.

The church is a barrel vault cathedral style building with a simple masonry covering on the front side facing the plaza. Noticeably different from European churches of the same style are the vertical port holes on the front wall. These were used during the various rebellions to defend the church from the natives.

The church seen today is not the original, it was replaced in 1705 after a series of violent events in 1703. In January 1703, Miguel Ruiz de Ayuso and Fernando Tovar were elected Mayor and Second Mayor of Valladolid replacing the recently deposed Mayor, Don Fernando HipĆ³lito de Osorno. Ayuso and Tovar were political rivals of Osorno and wanted him captured to fulfill the arrest orders sent down by the Governor, Don Martin de Urzua. Osorno hid in the Iglesia de San Servacio with his friend Gabriel Covarrubias but were found on July 5th, 1703. On the orders of Ayuso and Tovar, they were not arrested but instead beaten. Osorno was dead by the time they arrived at the jail and Covarrubias was then beaten again until death. They both were then hung from the window of their cell. In response to this brutality, the Viceroy ordered for the removal of the Governor and sentenced Ayuso and Tovar to death. In 1705, Bishop Don Pedro de los Rios Reyes ordered the church to be demolished and rebuilt with a new church to help erase the stain left by this atrocity.

Over the course of the next century and a half there were a series of small rebellions eventually leading to the Caste War from 1847 to 1901. Near the beginning of the war the city and church were taken over by the rebels. In 1848, Colonel J. J. Mendez retook the city and church with military force. Today, two of the canons he used during the battle are on display within the church.

Images

Iglesia de San Servacio

Iglesia de San Servacio

The Iglesia de San Servacio as seen from the front around sun down. In this photo you can see the port holes cut into the front facade in order to protect the church during various rebellions. View File Details Page

Parque Francisco Canton

Parque Francisco Canton

This is the plaza in the center of Valladolid. The Iglesia de San Servacio is see in the distance on the southern edge of the plaza. View File Details Page

Iglesia de San Servacio

Iglesia de San Servacio

The Iglesia de San Servacio as seen from the Parque Francisco Canton at sun set. View File Details Page

Iglesia de San Servacio

Iglesia de San Servacio

The Iglesia de San Servacio as seen from the front during the day. In the brighter light you can see how the church's masonry is a bright white. View File Details Page

Iglesia de San Servacio

Iglesia de San Servacio

In this up close picture of the Iglesia de San Servacio, you can see many details of the front facade. At the very top you can see the clock face and below it the city crest. Below this you can see a simple stained glass window leading down to the large door entrance. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Adam F. Figueroa, “Iglesia de San Servacio o Gervacio,” HistoricalMX, accessed November 24, 2017, http://historicalmx.org/items/show/13.

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