"San Pedro Huertas" Top 5 Page for this destination Outskirts of Antigua Tip by toonsarah
Outskirts of Antigua, Antigua Guatemala: 11 reviews and 31 photos
This was the second village that we visited on our tour with Victor. It doesn’t have anything as impressive as the bishop’s palace in San Juan del Obispo, but it does have a pretty colonial church and also offers a glimpse of village life. On first arriving in the main square it struck me as a livelier place than San Juan. Children were running around, old men relaxing on benches (photo 3), and women gossiping as they did their washing at the public laundry (photo 4). Outside the church a group of local musicians was playing and being videoed – maybe just for fun, or maybe as a promotion?
We didn’t go into the church as it was apparently closed, and Victor didn’t tell us much about it, but I did a bit of research on our return. The first church on this site was built in 1541 and dedicated to San Pedro (Saint Peter). It was simple in style, and was replaced with this more ornate Baroque church in 1672. Soon after, in February 1689, the town was hit by an earthquake which destroyed village homes and the church. It was rebuilt, and then again in March 1751 an earthquake hit the region and part of the church’s roof, its organ and choir were ruined.
Today the church is fully restored and functioning. It has the simple shape and squat tower of many others in the area, the better to withstand the instability of the land on which it stands. The facade is painted in a deep ochre which was very striking on the sunny day when we saw it (it faces west so an afternoon visit is best). It is decorated with stucco columns and niches with figures of saints (see photo 2 for a close-up).
As we left we found that this was not such a peaceful, happy spot as we had first thought. On the road to our left a group of people was gathered around a police car. Victor stopped a passer-by to ask what had happened and learnt that the police had shot dead a man who (they knew or suspected?) had been dealing drugs. He told us that drugs were too common a problem in the country and the police were trying to crack down but many innocent people had got caught up in it, including, sadly, his friend’s brother. A sobering note on which to leave such a pleasant village square.
Directions South west of the city, between it and Ciudad Vieja.
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