Tags: Ciudad Vieja, Guatemala, San Juan del Obispo, San Pedro Las Huertas

Date: December 20, 2019

We visited a number of different towns around Antigua and saw the churches in each one of them

Here is the colonial church attached to its convent in San Juan del Obispo:

Next up was the likewise colonial church of San Pedro las Huertas:

The church in Ciudad Vieja is newer because the original town was buried under several meters of mud during a mudslide down the sides of volcano Agua in 1541. The town had been founded in 1527 by the Spanish to be the second colonial capital in Guatemala. At that time it was called "Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala". Shortly after the mudslide, in 1543, a new capital was founded in the valley below the volcano, this time named "Muy Leal y Muy Noble Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala" - the town that was renamed Antigua Guatemala (which means "Old Guatemala") - most often shortened to Antigua - when the capital was moved a third time after the 1773 earthquake. The Spanish do not seem to have had much luck with their choices of capitals in Guatemala.

Back to Ciudad Vieja: A new town, now ironically named Ciudad Vieja, which means Old Town in Spanish was rebuilt on top of the old and a new church built in the 1700s in the so-called Guatemalta ultra-baroque style:

In Ciudad Vieja we also visited some weaving workshops housed in a building that also had a small museum showing the traditional dresses from different parts of the country:

During the last part of that day, we climbed a part of volcano Pacaya, located between Antigua and Guatemala city. On the way up we passed an avocado plantation:

View of part of Guatemala City:

FĂ©licie and Karen Luise struggling towards the plateau where our hike ended:

A hardened lava stream from one of the multiple eruptions of Pacaya. The volcano has had at least 23 eruptions since the Spanish colonized Guatemala. The last eruption was in 2014:

Smoke and red hot lava coming from Pacaya:

View of a nearby wooded hill:

View towards volcano Agua near Antigua:

Our guide took a nice picture of us around sunset: