Antigua's largest convent was built by Capuchin nuns, whose number had swelled because they, unlike other sisterhoods, did not require young women to pay dowries to undertake the religious life. They constructed the mammoth structure in 1736, just a decade after the first of their order arrived from Madrid. The convent was abandoned after the earthquake of 1773, even though damage to the structure was relatively light. In the 1940s the convent was restored and opened to
the public. The ruins, which are quite well preserved, include several lovely courtyards and gardens, the former bathing halls, and a round tower lined with the nuns' cells—two of which illustrate cloistered life with rather eerie mannequins. Climb to the roof for a memorable view of the surrounding landscape. The building now houses the offices of the Consejo Nacional para la Protección de La Antigua Guatemala, the national council charged with preservation and restoration of the city. At this writing, a museum is under construction in the convent's interior, slated to open in late 2010. It will house colonial artifacts collected by the council.
2 Av. Norte at 2 Calle Oriente, Antigua, 03001, Guatemala
Aug 7, 2004
These ruins are a must see if you are in Antigua. Find a good tour guide and soak in the history of this place! They will even allow you to take some time to yourself if you ask. It's a great place for relflection and meditation.