Three Kings Catacombs – Tizimín, Mexico - Atlas Obscura
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Three Kings Catacombs

Tizimín, Mexico

A sprawling network of century-old subterranean catacombs lies beneath a nondescript suburban home. 

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Though it is located not far from Cancún, Tizimín in Yucatán Mexico is not widely known as a tourist destination. But the city is home to at least one attraction that is worth visiting for: the Catacumbas Tres Reyes, or Three Kings Catacombs.

The normal-looking house at an address near the center of town barely stands out, except for a “Catacumbas” sign. A member of the household will unlock the gate to let visitors in and show them to the back of the house, where a staircase leads into the ground below. Lights illuminate a vast underground space of earthen columns and passageways. Wander around the catacombs and admire the cave art (think mythical beasts, dinosaurs, historical personalities). You might see a few bats flying around the spacious, impressive, and mysterious lair.

When we exited we asked our host how these catacombs came to be, she said her great grandfather started to build it over 100 years ago to protect his family and friends from war during tumultuous times. Then, so the story goes, the family kept expanding on it over the generations to its current enormity.

These catacombs are one of several locations in Tizimín with “three kings” in its name: there is also a large 18th century church, a hotel, and at least one restaurant. Sometimes called the “city of kings,” Tizimín is known for its traditional fair celebrating the Biblical Magi—three wise men who traveled a far distance to pay homage to a newly-born Jesus.

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