Posted by: Gary Guertin | December 6, 2010

14. Panama Canal Cruise–Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala–Part 2

Hi All,

Ready for Part 2 of our trip to La Antigua?  If you haven’t read part 1, stop here and go back and read it, especially pay attention to the map as I start you on our foot tour of the city.

We arrived at the Porque Central (central plaza) and our guide gave us three and a half hours to see the city.  Susy and I thought this will give us plenty of time, but little did we know.  Our first visit was the city Cathedral, just across the Plaza:

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Not only was the exterior beautiful, but take a look down the center aisle of the cathedral:

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I could have shown you many photos of this lovely cathedral, but then I would have to show you all my photos and it would take forever, so I just show one more of a side altar, and there were many, each and every one a splendid work of art:

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We thought we had seen the cities best, but little did we know, as we walked back out to the plaza and headed for a church we were told is a must see, “La Merced Church”. If you go back to the map you will see is at the top with a circle around it, some three major blocks from the Cathedral.  These blocks were really long.  Before we leave the plaza I want to show you the buildings at each end.  The first is the Palacio de Los Capitanes Generales.  Your view is down the cobblestone streets (the whole city was cobblestone) with the Cathedral on the left.  You only see a corner of the building because the rest was covered in scaffold, because they were refurbishing it and I didn’t think you would be interested in construction:

 

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That was the home of the Spanish King’s representatives from the 16th to the 18th centuries.  At the other end of the plaza, that is just turning around, we see the Palace of the Noble City Hall built in 1743, with it’s exceptional carved stonework. This building currently houses the cities government:

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Ok, we’ve seen the plaza, so let’s walk up the three or so blocks to the Merced church:

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You see the church off in the distance and think it shouldn’t take long to get there but then you pass a doorway like that one on the left and woo’ la you discover that behind the doorway is a beautiful courtyard like this:

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This was a small hotel and some artists were about to put up an exhibition of their works.  You had to stop in almost every doorway to look and the beautiful courtyards and it seemed that each one was more beautiful then the last:

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As we came with one block of the church we had to stop in the hotel which was a famous old convent, “Santa Catarina”, which was the name of the Arch in front: “Arco Santa Catarina”

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This is what got us, going through that hotel door entrance on the left you came across this beautiful courtyard:

IMG_1412 Stitch

Now I have to stop Part 2 because after what we thought would be a short walk turned out to be a long one, and we arrived at the Church and Monastery of La Merced. Believe it or not I am going to do Part 3 entirely on our visit there.

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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