The Old Capital of Guatemala
Stunning Antigua, one of the major tourist attractions in Guatemala together with the ancient city of Tikal, one of the former Maya capital cities far in the north of the country. A must visit for anyone’s trip through Central America and Guatemala itself. This is the former capital of the country; one of the best preserved colonial cities in Latin America, all “thanks” to it’s sad past. Twice destroyed by earthquakes and abandoned after the most devastating one in 1776 on behalf of a new capital city being built at a safer location, named at the time, Nueva Guatemala de la Asuncion. While nowadays we know it as Antigua, or Antigua Guatemala, its original colonial name was Santiago de los Caballeros.
Since the last century it has experienced again a regrowth and transformation with the reconstruction and restoring of almost every old house and church. Nowadays it rather looks a city where no destruction ever happened. So much history and fine architecture no wonder it is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site.
For me as Spanish, being here was like being anywhere in the south of Spain or the Canary Islands, where the old towns look almost identical in architecture, urbanism and colours to Antigua and of course elsewhere in colonial Latin America. (more…)