In Search of Almolonga

Church and plaza of San Miguel Escobar, facing west; probable vicinity of the second Santiago and possible site of its cathedral.

Exactly where was the center of old Santiago? Traditionally the honor has been assumed to belong to the urban center of Ciudad Vieja, the Old City. But was it? Tropical storm Agatha raged throughout Guatemala in May, déjà vu of 9/11/1541 for the hard-hit area east of Ciudad Vieja. Weeks later, the church of San Miguel Escobar still sheltered people […]

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The Saga Continues

While preparing the Convent La Concepción for its reopening as the Museo de Semana Santa (Holy Week Museum) they have uncovered new colors, secrets and surprises. In June 1737 the nuns of Convent La Concepción invited the town of Santiago de los Caballeros, now La Antigua Guatemala, to a celebration. Sound strange? Yes, but the lovely young ladies of convents […]

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Humble Beginnings

Large San Jerónimo plaza; kitchen chimney peeks over back wall (photo by Jack Houston)

The Story of the Ruins of San Jerónimo The spacious, bright and well-kept flowered lawn of the San Jerónimo ruins at the north end of Alameda Santa Lucía welcomes visitors to the site of a school that functioned barely four years and closed with five students. In Colonial Architecture of Antigua, Sidney Markman wrote, “Very little remains of the school […]

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Last But Not Least

Ruins of monastery and church of La Recoleccion (photo: Jack Houston)

La Recolección is off the beaten track but worth the extra, dusty walk, being among the most impressive ruins in town. Religious reformers punctuate history as far back as anyone wants to go. Constantine, Luther, even Henry VIII, the Wesley brothers. The past century knew Billy Sunday and Billy Graham. Antonio Margil de Jesús is hardly a household name, but […]

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