Catedral de San Jose

  based on 1 review   write a review

Antigua, Guatemala

Catedral de San Jose Antigua Reviews

rsvpme rsvpme
29 reviews
The First Cathedral of the Kingdom of Guatemala Feb 08, 2015
St. Joseph Cathedral - Catedral de San Jose

When the Spanish came to the new world, they established the first capital for a very short time in a community called Iximche in 1524, then in 1527 to Cuidad Veija, and after moved to the new Capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala ( Central America and part of Mexico )- to Antigua, Guatemala in 1543.

The settlement of the new world required monies and the charter given to allow for the settlement of Central America was a simple document. The new world was to be raped of its riches and distribution of the profits was threefold. One third to the crown of Spain, one third to the Roman Catholic Church to evangelize the area and one third to the businessmen who were financing the occupation.

For some reason the one third spent by the church was primarily utilized to create churches. Antigua, at its peak population period in the late 1770s had a population of some 60,000 people. Yet, it now has churches and ruins, numbering over thirty. The sheer size and ornateness of these churches suggests that the wealth plundered out of Central America was enormous. The cost of building these monumental churches suggests that partnerships between the businessmen and the Church was likely.

The Cathedral was initially built in 1545 according to church posted records, or 1541, if one is to utilize Wikipedia out of rubble that was faced with tile, to achieve uniformity. It makes little difference because in 1669 it was torn down and new building was started and subsequently consecrated in 1680.

Earthquakes eventually broke the spine of Antigua, but the earthquakes in 1717 and again in 1751 created rebuilding. However, in 1773 there was again a massive earthquake and the capital was moved to present day Guatemala City.

My estimation is that perhaps 33% of the original structure remains and this, to me, creates all my interest in the history. The remaining structure is imposing as evidenced by the night photo. This is the original entrance. However, when one enters the cathedral one is disappointed...the inside does not match the grandeur of the outside. The second photo confirms this observation.

However, the complex comes alive when you look at the scope of photograph three. This was an amazing as well as enormous structure. The remaining church is just one of the side altars. If you leave the church proper, and walk to the next side street, one can enter the ruins, of the full church. Cost is nominal ..less than $1.00

When I look at what survived and then look at what was destroyed by earthquake, I am simply amazed. This was truly a Cathedral of the Kingdom of Guatemala.

The arches and flowing lines of the architecture rise like sentinels into the sky....silent pillars of history, that has faded into the past.

In the last four years, Antigua has become my second home. The grandeur of the remaining structure and the pieces of vision created by the ruins, stand as testimony to a time when this indeed was a Kingdom.

It never ceases to move my spirit.
Gorgeous church facade at night..l…
The remaining side altar.....simpl…
The original structure.
Archways are everywhere......adds …
14 / 14 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
pepe88 says:
good review thanks.
Posted on: Feb 11, 2017
rsvpme says:
Eva,,Thanks for the recognition..I do appreciate.
Posted on: Feb 11, 2015
rsvpme says:
Nana...Thanks again for your comments and support for my attempts to portray reality. I suspect this was one beautiful structure in its time.
Posted on: Feb 11, 2015
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!

Check Antigua Hotel Deals

Antigua Map
1 review
1 review
1 review
1 review - $106
2 reviews - $57
1 review - $91
photo by: monky