13 April 2012

Gallivanting in Guatemala: Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo

Antigua has plenty of archaeological ruins waiting for travelers to see, discover, and meander in. I previously showed the Old School of the Society of Jesus, which I believe is the only restored site in Antigua. Everything else is sitting in ruins, and some are well-maintained and preserved, while others are just waiting for erosion to finally engulf them into oblivion. The Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo (Church and Convent of Santo Domingo) however, is one of the well-maintained ones. In fact, they built a hotel around it!

You don't have to be a hotel guest to visit the ruins. But if you are willing to shell out I think at least 300 USD per night for a room, then your visit is free. For people like me who have cheaper accommodations elsewhere, then an entrance fee is required, which I believe, was rather reasonable. What you see above is the courtyard and entrance area. They have preserved the walls that remained standing from the 1773 earthquake, and built the hotel around it.

As you can see above, the whole complex is spacious, and I believe the modern hotel has done a greta job in preserving history here. Instead of opting to demolish, they built around it. That was actually cool.

This complex also contains 4 small museums: they might be small, but they all are interesting. They showcase various stuff, from colonial art, to art produced by modern artists of Guatemala. I enjoyed the colonial art museum the best, and the above photos are a sample of what they have.

Aside from the museums, there are other nooks and crannies that visitors can explore. This room above, I don't know what it is for, but it had interesting decor. There are also candle-making and leather workshops that people can visit.

Overall, I think this place is worth a visit. I spent about two hours meandering and frolicking in here.

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