Established in the 16th Century as the capitol of the Spanish colonial government for the Kingdom of Guatemala, which at the time included much of present-day Central America, Antigua is a living museum of Spanish colonial architecture.
The seat of Spanish power, the Palace of the Captain’s General still stands prominently across from Antigua’s Parque Central.
The iconic Santa Catalina Arch, originally constructed to allow cloistered nuns to travel from a convent to a school without stepping outdoors, beautifully straddles the city’s cobblestone streets.
The magnificent Senora de la Merced Cathedral rises from the earth as if a giant confection.
Other impressive churches, like Cathedral de Santiago, have also been preserved and restored.
While the ruins of other once grand buildings, claimed by the area’s frequent earthquakes, dot the cityscape.
And everywhere, the three volcanoes that circumscribe Antigua loom on the horizon.