Much of the city and the buildings were badly destroyed during the Caste wars that lasted from 1847 - 1904. It was the largest and most succesful of Yucatáns rural rebellions; a group of Mayas gathered and rebelled against the powerful and bigoted Europeans (Yucatecos) that intruded their land and ignored their rights.
Historians believe it all started with the execution of three Mayan leaders at Valladolid for having planned an Indian uprising together. Early in the war, the Yucatecos fled to Mérida, and had almost lost the battle. Legend say that it then was time for the harvest which was a very important religious ritual for the Mayas. They were then forced to lay down their weapons and return to their fields to harvest the corn. The Yucatecan army then regrouped and slaughtered thousands of Mayas.
Valladolid did not used to be Valladolid - it was once called Zací (zah-kee), by the Mayas when they settled here... the settlement of the white hawk. Today the city is well known for its colonial architecture and especially because it's very near Chichen Itza - making it a good base from which to explore the famous ruins.
Fondest memory: I liked the architecture and the colours of the old town - and the fact that it looked very much alive and unspoiled... real, in a word - and not too overrun by tourism.
The central park, called Parque Francisco Cantòn Rosado, is a nice public garden where people go for a walk on Sundays and holidays.
Fondest memory: In the park there are many garden seat made for couples. You can sit down looking into each other's eyes. Very very romantic!!