"Catedral de Santiago" Top 5 Page for this destination Churches Tip by Hopkid

Churches, Antigua Guatemala: 32 reviews and 95 photos

   
by Hopkid
 
  • Catedral de Santiago - Antigua Guatemala
  • Worship area inside restored portion of catedral - Antigua Guatemala
      Worship area inside restored portion of catedral
    by Hopkid
  • Ruins of the original catedral - Antigua Guatemala
      Ruins of the original catedral
    by Hopkid
  • Catedral de Santiago - Antigua Guatemala
  • Underground chapel behind the former altar - Antigua Guatemala
      Underground chapel behind the former altar
    by Hopkid
 

The cathedral, as with many churches in the city, was heavily damaged by a series of earthquakes in the 16th and 17th centuries. Building began in 1542 but the original structure was demolished in 1688. The current edifice was built btween 1669 and 1680. The quake that broke camel?s back was in 1773 and lead to the relocation of the nation?s capital from Antigua to Guatemala City. Many of the damaged churches and cathedrals were left abandoned or reutilized but without rebuilding or removing the resulting rubble. The cathedral was renovated between 1780 and 1820 to include a scaled-down worship area that is in use today. This area was just the entry hall for the original structure.

The façade which faces the Parque Central has also been renovated and is beautifully lit at night. Visitors can tour the unrestored areas of the cathedral in which one can get an idea of how large the original cathedral was before the earthquake. The large boulders still in the spots where they fell also gives one and indication of why renovations were never made. Be sure to go down to the small underground chapel accessible via a set of stairs behind the former altar.

Address: 4a Avenida Sur on east side of the Parque Central

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 23, 2007
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