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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Guatemala Part 3

    Sunday, September 3, 2017
    Antigua, Guatemala

    A spectacular overview of Antigua, Guatemala from Cerro de la Cruz.
    A spectacular overview of Antigua, Guatemala from Cerro de la Cruz.

     A staircase descending from Cerro de la Cruz in Antigua, Guatemala.
    A staircase descending from Cerro de la Cruz in Antigua, Guatemala.

    Cerro de la Cruz in Antigua, Guatemala.
    Cerro de la Cruz in Antigua, Guatemala.

    An extremely distressed wall in Antigua, Guatemala.
    An extremely distressed wall in Antigua, Guatemala.

    Since I got such a late start, my goal for today was simply to walk around Antigua and see as much free or inexpensive stuff as possible. At the suggestion of the front desk clerk at the Yellow House, I started off with a short hike up to Cerro de la Cruz, which, true to its name, is a giant cross (devoted to the patron saint of Antigua) that stands in a clearing up on a hill on the north side of town. After ascending a scenic walkway and occasional flights of stairs leading up through a jungle, the payoff is a magnificent view of the city of Antigua dominated by the imposing cloud-shrouded Agua Volcano looming in the background.

    Iglesia y Convento de las Capuchinas in Antigua, Guatemala.
    Iglesia y Convento de las Capuchinas in Antigua, Guatemala.

    A small wedding parade in Antigua, Guatemala.
    A small wedding parade in Antigua, Guatemala.

    A small wedding parade in Antigua, Guatemala.
    A small wedding parade in Antigua, Guatemala.

    Back in town, I randomly witnessed a small parade of balloon-festooned mini-trucks hauling beauty queens possibly to or from a wedding. The trucks were hilariously blasting some kind of super loud, thumping Guatemalan music. After gobbling down a big, delicious sandwich that only cost $2.00 at a street stall, I headed toward the center and southeast parts of town, where I visited a string of Catholic churches.

    A food vendor in Antigua, Guatemala.
    A food vendor in Antigua, Guatemala.

    A delicious sandwich from a food vendor in Antigua, Guatemala.
    A delicious sandwich from a food vendor in Antigua, Guatemala.

    Antigua Guatemala Cathedral.
    Antigua Guatemala Cathedral.

    A xylophone band in Antigua, Guatemala.
    A xylophone band in Antigua, Guatemala.

    First up was Iglesia y Convento de las Capuchinas. Built in 1736, it’s one of the finest examples of an 18th-century convent in Guatemala. Like the rest of the city, it suffered damage during the 1751 and 1771 earthquakes. When I passed by, a bride and groom dressed to the nines were posing for photos in front of the large wooden doors out front.

    Iglesia San Pedro Apostol in Antigua, Guatemala.
    Iglesia San Pedro Apostol in Antigua, Guatemala.

    The crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Iglesia San Pedro Apostol in Antigua, Guatemala.
    The crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Iglesia San Pedro Apostol in Antigua, Guatemala.

    A well-weathered doorway in Antigua, Guatemala.
    A well-weathered doorway in Antigua, Guatemala.

    My second stop was at Antigua Guatemala Cathedral, which was built in 1541 and was also damaged by Earthquakes several times. Third up was the Iglesia San Pedro Apostol, a Baroque-style church built in 1654, which boasts a really touching mural of San Pedro helping the sick and less fortunate in a hospital for the poor that he founded. The mural “represents artistically how social works continue today with charity initiated by the holy brother Pedro.”

    The facade of Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.
    The facade of Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.

    The ruins of the monastery of Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.
    The ruins of the monastery of Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.

    The ruins of the monastery of Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.
    The ruins of the monastery of Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.

    Dedications to Hermano Pedro in the Hall of Miracles at Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.
    Dedications to Hermano Pedro in the Hall of Miracles at Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.

    Last but not least was Iglesia San Francisco, a huge Spanish-American baroque church built in 1702, the monastery of which the earthquakes reduced to super-picturesque ruins that remind me a lot of the ancient Buddhist temple ruins of Ayutthaya in Thailand. Also inside the compound is the Museo Hermano Pedro, which contains a large room with a bunch of Catholic religious artifacts on the walls and in glass cases. Also present is the Hall of Miracles, the walls of which are completely sardine-packed with framed photos, letters, notes and dedications to Hermano Pedro from people who attributed miracle cures to him. The whole layout and presentation of the latter resembles an installation of raw outsider art of the highest order.

    Dedications to Hermano Pedro in the Hall of Miracles at Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.
    Dedications to Hermano Pedro in the Hall of Miracles at Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.

    Dedications to Hermano Pedro in the Hall of Miracles at Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.
    Dedications to Hermano Pedro in the Hall of Miracles at Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.

    Dedications to Hermano Pedro in the Hall of Miracles at Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.
    Dedications to Hermano Pedro in the Hall of Miracles at Iglesia San Francisco in Antigua, Guatemala.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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