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On The Prowl: Antigua

Convento de Santa Clara © Charles & Mary Love

Antigua is the oldest colonial city in Central America. Founded by the Spanish in 1524 and twice relocated, Antigua—known as Santiago de Guatemala at the time—was Guatemala’s capital until 1773 when a series of devastating earthquakes prompted authorities to relocate the city to present-day Guatemala City. As a result, “La Antigua Guatemala” was evacuated and many, but not all, of its cultural treasures were hauled away.

Fortunately, not everyone left. Over the centuries, enlightened citizens worked to preserve buildings damaged in that quake—and subsequent ones. (Earthquakes are a fact of life in Antigua.) And yes, as you’d expect for a city that was once a cultural and economic center, Antigua’s architecture is stunning. Monuments, abbeys, churches and cathedrals, inspired by the Italian…Continue Reading

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