Ruins of Antigua Guatemala
Ruins of Antigua Guatemala Reviews
A tour of the Ruins of Antigua Guatemala May 18, 2006
Antigua is simply filled with impressive ruins of old religius buildings. Here are a couple of the most impressive ones:
Athough small, the ruins of the Iglesia y Convento de Santa Clara are one of my favorites. The grounds are well-kept, filled with lovely flowers and little lawns that make for great relaxing. The second level has nice views over Antigua. This church and convent (this time housing nuns, mostly from rich families) was another victim of that infamous earthquake of 1773, laying it in ruins.
Right in front of the ruins of Santa Clara is a public washing (laundry) area and a tiny park.
The ruins of La Recoleccion (built between 1701 and 1708) are one of the best reminders of the incredible power of earthquakes.
This complex (church and convent) was one of the most beautiful of Antigua in its days. The big earthquake of 1773, however, turned the buildings into a huge ruin. To be sure, even more damage was done later by people carting off stones etc. for building material elsewhere. And they even tried building a swimming pool in the ruins!
The complex of La Merced consists of two parts: the church itself, which has a richly decorated facade, with vines and grapes everywhere but is very simple inside, and the convent (small entrance fee), which was destroyed by the big earthquake of 1773 and is only partially restored. Inside the convent is a huge fountain, the largest in Central America, in which the friars used to raise fish.
La Catedral de Santiago
On the east side of the Parque Central you’ll see the façade of the cathedral. Behind this façade hides what was once a huge, beautifully decorated cathedral, the largest of the Spanish colonies. Construction was started in 1543 but due to earthquakes, still not completed 200 years later! In 1773 disaster struck once again in the form of a huge earthquake, destroying the building. At last, a small part of the building was rebuilt and is now in use as the present cathedral.
The cathedral is beautifully lit up at night.
Part of the Guatemala & Belize 2006 travel blog
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