Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala Map of Guatemala

La Antigua Guatemala (Eng. "Old Guatemala "; short form: Antigua ) is a 35,000 inhabitants town in the central highlands of Guatemala. She was from 1543 to 1773 the capital of the Spanish colonies in Central America. Today, Antigua is Guatemala administrative seat of the greater community ( municipality ) and the department Sacatepéquez.

The well-known for its Baroque colonial architecture city is since 1979 a World Heritage Site.


In the train of the conquest of Guatemala by Pedro de Alvarado, the Spanish focused on 25 July 1524 the first capital in Guatemala Tecpán at Iximché ( Chimaltenango ) a. On November 22, 1527, they were transferred into six kilometers south-west of Antigua Guatemala situated Santiago de Goathemala, today's Ciudad Vieja (Eng. "Old City "). In the fall of 1541 a mudslide buried the city among themselves, several hundred people died. On March 10, 1543 Bishop Francisco Marroquín founded in nearby Panchoy Valley the third capital city, in 1566 by King Philip II named La Muy Noble y Leal Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Goathemala received (now Antigua Guatemala). In the following 200 years, the city became the political, economic and cultural center of Central America, which rivaled Mexico City or Lima in nothing. Earthquake taught in the course of time several times severe damage to, but remained negative impact on the urban development of short duration. Middle of the 18th century had more than 50,000 inhabitants Antigua, about 50 churches and chapels, hospitals, schools, a printing company and a university, from which today's Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala emerged. This city was completely destroyed on 29 June in 1773 by a major earthquake. First one was planning a move of the capital from about 150 km to the east Jalapa, then decided to use 45 km away, Ermita Plateau, where today is Guatemala City.

Antigua Guatemala has never been abandoned as a city, but recovered only very slowly. From 1871, enabled the secularization of church property and the liberal reforms of the government Barrios and foreign investment and build an economy based on coffee exports. 1976 sent a further earthquake in Antigua, as well as in other cities of Guatemala, again serious damage to. A few ruins still recall the various natural disasters that have plagued the city over time.

1944, the colonial town was declared a national monument of Guatemala in 1965 was the recognition of the cultural heritage of North America, since 1979 Antigua According to the UNESCO decision is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Antigua is today one of the main tourist attractions of Guatemala (since 1979 a World Heritage Site ). The city has a beautiful colonial city and has numerous hotels, restaurants, shops and schools. A cultural highlight in Antigua Guatemala are the magnificent processions during Holy Week ( Semana Santa ). Another attraction is the fantastic sight of volcanoes Agua, Fuego and Acatenango the still active. In the cathedral is the burial site of the chronicler and former governor of Antigua Bernal Díaz del Castillo.



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