History of La Recoleccion
Antigua, then called Santiago de Guatemala, was a bustling, wealthy city, with way too many religious institutions, so when permission was asked, in 1685, to build another convent, it was denied. Despite local protest, permission was granted in 1700, and a lot was assigned outside city limits. Building started in 1701. The huge church was finished in 1715 and inaugurated in 1717. In that same year, an earthquake damaged the church. Repairs were immediately made, making the church even larger. The church was damaged again in 1751, repaired once more, severely damaged in 1773 and abandoned in 1774.
Over the years, material from the church was carted off and used for other constructions. In 1950, the city took over, cleaned it up and made it safe for the public to visit. During the 1976 earthquake La Recoleccion's famous arch fell. Since then there has been ongoing conservation of the ruins.
If your time is short and you can only visit a couple of sites, be sure to make this one of them. La Recoleccion located on Avenida La Recoleccion and 1 Calle Pte. To get here from the main plaza, head north on 5 Avenida; after three blocks turn left onto 1 Calle Pte; go four blocks and cross Avenida de la Recoleccion. It is open daily from 9am to 5pm and admission is Q30 (US$3.75) for foreigners.
Boca de Tomatlan, Mexico
August 22, 2005
From journal Wrath of the Gods