Theme Week Guatemala – Antigua Guatemala

Saturday, 30 October 2021 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Santa Catalina Arch and Volcan de Agua © flickr.com - Chad Davis/cc-by-sa-2.0

Santa Catalina Arch and Volcan de Agua © flickr.com – Chad Davis/cc-by-sa-2.0

Antigua Guatemala, commonly referred to as just Antigua or la Antigua, is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala known for its preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture as well as a number of ruins of colonial churches. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Antigua Guatemala serves as the municipal seat for the surrounding municipality of the same name. It also serves as the departmental capital of Sacatepéquez Department.

Central Park – Parque Central – is the heart of the city, with the reconstructed fountain there acting as a popular gathering spot. To the north of the Central Park is the Arco de Santa Catalina, one of the most recognizable architectural landmarks of Antigua. La Antigua is noted for its very elaborate religious celebrations during Lent (Cuaresma), leading up to Holy Week (Semana Santa) and Easter (Pascua). Each Sunday during Lent, one of the local parishes sponsors a Procession through the streets of Antigua. Elaborate and artistic carpets, predominantly made of dyed sawdust, flowers, pine needles, and even fruits and vegetables, adorn the processions’ paths. Due to its popularity among tourists and its very well-developed tourism infrastructure, Antigua Guatemala is often used as a central location from which to visit other tourist areas in Guatemala and Central America. Cruise ships that dock at Guatemalan ports offer trips to Antigua from both the Pacific and Atlantic. Antigua also holds a sizeable retirement community of expatriates from the US and Europe.

Historically, the area was considered to be one of the finest agriculturally in Guatemala. Tourism is the main driver of the economy. Antigua is also a coffee-producing region of Anacafé. There are many restaurants in Antigua. Small eateries can be found at the Antigua marketplace next to the central bus stop, where you will find traditional Guatemalan dishes such as the traditional/Chapin breakfast, for example: refried beans, fried egg, fried plantain, and fresh cheese, served with handmade tortillas. Throughout Antigua you can find many cuisines from around the world: Mediterranean, Italian, Asian, American, and British pies and French pastries.

© flickr.com - Bruno Rijsman/cc-by-sa-2.0 Hermano Pedro's Hospital © Cbl62/cc-by-3.0 La Merced Church © chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0 San Jose Parish © Rialfver/cc-by-sa-3.0 Santa Catalina Arch and Volcan de Agua © flickr.com - Chad Davis/cc-by-sa-2.0 Santa Catalina Arch © flickr.com - Adalberto.H.Vega/cc-by-2.0 Santa Catalina Arch © flickr.com - Rene Hernandez/cc-by-sa-2.0 © BBCLCD/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Esequeandaahi/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Santa Catalina Arch and Volcan de Agua © flickr.com - Chad Davis/cc-by-sa-2.0
Antigua is a growing tourist destination in Guatemala as it is close to Guatemala City but is much calmer and safer, with more tourist oriented activities. It is possible to take buses from Antigua to many parts of Guatemala. Many travel agencies offer shuttles to the main tourist places: Monterrico Beach, Atitlan Lake, Cobán, Lanquín (Semuc Champey), or Tikal, though the transportation is more central in Guatemala City. Antigua is also known for its chocolate makers (La Aurora International Airport).

Before it was declared a National Monument by president Jorge Ubico on March 30, 1944, the city ruins were practically abandoned. The following galleries show images of the destruction of the structures due to earthquakes and abandonment. There were other churches, such as Nuestra Señora del Carmen and the Society of Jesus, that endured the 1773 earthquake relatively well, but they were abandoned and the earthquakes from 1917–18 and 1976 destroyed them. In the particular case of de San Francisco El Grande church, it was in good structural condition after the 1773 and 1917 earthquakes, and it was rebuilt in 1967 when the Franciscans returned to Guatemala. This eventually protected the structure from significant damage in the 1976 earthquake. Finally, La Merced church was practically new in 1773, and it has withstood time and earthquakes since; the church was not abandoned in 1776, but it was indeed abandoned in 1829 when the Mercedarians were expelled from Central America by general Francisco Morazán, along with the rest of regular clergy and the conservative party members and Aycinena family.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Antigua Guatemala, Wikivoyage Antigua Guatemala and Wikipedia Antigua Guatemala. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.








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