The Church of Our Lady of Mercy is one of Antigua's most eye-catching attractions, known for its fanciful yellow stucco facade that incorporates Mayan deities. The attached monastery, which has an immense stone fountain in the central courtyard, has excellent views of nearby volcanoes. The church was built in 1548, only to be destroyed by an earthquake in 1717. It was finally rebuilt in 1765, six years before a second massive earthquake forced the city to be abandoned.
Architect Juan Luis de Dios Estrada wisely designed the church to be earthquake resistant. The squat shape, thick walls, and small, high windows are responsible for La Merced's surviving the 1773 quake with barely a crack. The church did suffer significant damage in the 1976 earthquake, but a massive restoration project reinforced the stone floor.
1 Calle Poniente and 6 Av. Norte, Antigua, 03001, Guatemala