The Barrio de Santiago owes its name to the Santiago Church, one of the most representative religious structures of Merida because of its belfry with six spans of trefoil arch. Its construction in the 17th century spurred the urbanization of what had formerly been a Mayan village, thus forming the neighborhood of Santiago.
In the space surrounding the Church, military exercises were formerly carried out, and beginning in 1892, baseball games. The first telegraph pole to the port of Sisal was placed around the square, and although there were market type activities in the vicinity of the temple all the way back from the time of colonization, the first market was officially built in 1918. This also paved the way for one of the first movie theaters in Merida, the "Apollo", where today a large movie theater now stands.