Sunday, February 7, 2016

La Merced Cathedral

La Merced, a Catholic Cathedral and monastery has always fascinated me. The construction began in 1543.  It was opened  in 1767 and wastructured to withstand the earthquake that occurred in 1751.

As you near La Merced, you pass under the Acro De Santa Catalina. At one time, it was a way for the nuns to cross to the other side of the street without being seen There are some nice restaurants and places to shop before you reach La Merced.

 As you enter the first floor of the monastery there is a beautiful fountain.  It costs about $2.00 to enter.

Then you can climb to the second level to see more. It is best to go in the morning because if you wait too late, you can not see the tops of the volcanoes.

Antigua was founded in 1954 and grew into one of the most influential cities in Central America.  At one time the population was over 60,000 people  There were over 30 churches, 8 convents and monasteries, 10 chapels, the University of San Carlos, 5 hospitals, an orphanage and many other points of interests that surpassed Mexico and Lima.  Here you can see the top of Volcan Agua

Not much of the original La Merced remains standing due to earthquakes. Eventually, the capital was moved to Guatemala City.

 This is. Volcan Fuego. You an see the top of the volcano with the ash from lava.

A view from the other side.

The fountain in the central area.

Areas that lead to where the priests lived.

A very simple area that serve as a dormitory room with one window.

Volan Fuego from a different view. Notice how thick the walls are.

People are preparing for Semana Santa.  The population of Antigua will triple in size if not more during Semana Santa.  It is an awesome time if you do not mind crowds. If you are here during this week, just GUARD, very carefully, all of your possessions or you will have a lighter load returning home!

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