Tags: Antigua, Guatemala

Date: December 19, 2019

At the end of December we traveled from Rio Dulce to Antigua to meet up with Bjarne's family, who were coming from Denmark to celebrate Christmas with us. In 1543 Antigua became the capital of Guatemala but in 1773 a great earthquake destroyed the city and it was later decided to move the capital to its current location in Guatemala City.

Only parts of the historic center was rebuilt so the city is a mix of beautifully restored houses and picturesque church and convent/monastery ruins. Like all Latin American towns, Antigua has a central plaza. The building in the background of the plaza is the city hall:

To the east of the plaza is the cathedral, Cathedral de Santiago:

We walked into a beautiful courtyard of a former convent, now restored and used as Training Center of the Spanish Cooperation. We had a lovely lunch at their café and went exploring the buildings afterwards:

In the buildings were several exhibitions. One was about Mayan idols and the rest were different photo exhibitions:

Next to the restored convent (in red) was a church ruin:

Another ruined church, this one sharing a wall with the courtyard of our hotel:

At the outskirts of town is a hill called Cerro de la Cruz, where there is a spectacular view of the town and the volcanos. The volcano in the background is called Agua. The top of it is usually hidden by a cloud like on this picture:

View over Antigua:

Another volcano visible from Cerro de la Cruz is Fuego, with clouds of smoke and ash coming out of it every few minutes:

The cross that the hill was named for:

Volcano Agua on another day, almost completely out of the clouds:

La Merced church:

One of the ruined convents of the so called Order of Discalced Carmelites is being slowly restored but was open for visits. The picture is from the ruined convent church. Large parts of the ceiling fell down during the earthquake in 1773 and are still lying on the floor. The arch in the background has been restored: