Antigua, the capital of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala, was founded in the early 16th century. Built 1,500 m above sea-level, in an earthquake-prone region, it was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 but its principal monuments are still preserved as ruins. In the space of under three centuries the city, which was built on a grid pattern inspired by the Italian Renaissance, acquired a number of superb monuments. In 1979, listed in UNESCO World Heritage list.
About Antigua Guatemala
- Antigua Guatemala was the cultural, economic, religious, political and educational centre for the entire region until the capital was moved. In the space of under three centuries the city acquired a number of superb monuments.
- The pattern of straight lines established by the grid of north-south and east-west streets and inspired by the Italian Renaissance, is one of the best examples in Latin American town planning and all that remains of the 16th-century city.
- Most of the surviving civil, religious, and civic buildings date from the 17th and 18th centuries and constitute magnificent examples of colonial architecture in the Americas. These buildings reflect a regional stylistic variation known as Barroco antigueño.
- Distinctive characteristics of this architectural style include the use of decorative stucco for interior and exterior ornamentation, main facades with a central window niche and often a deeply-carved tympanum, massive buildings, and low bell towers designed to withstand the region’s frequent earthquakes.
- Among the many significant historical buildings, the Palace of the Captains General, the Casa de la Moneda, the Cathedral, the Universidad de San Carlos, Las Capuchinas, La Merced, Santa Clara, among others, are worth noting.
- The many churches and monasteries in Antigua Guatemala testify to the influence of the Christian church, during the colonial period, on every aspect of daily life in the city.
Best Time to Visit
If you are planning a Travel to Guatemala then the best time of year to visit weather-wise is in December and January, when everything is still green from the rains, but the sky is clear.
Guatemala, a Central American country south of Mexico, is home to volcanoes, rainforests and ancient Mayan sites. The capital, Guatemala City, features the stately National Palace of Culture and the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Antigua, west of the capital, contains preserved Spanish colonial buildings. Lake Atitlán, formed in a massive volcanic crater, is surrounded by coffee fields and villages.