Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Andariega on August 22, 2005

These ruins are all within a few blocks of each other, east of the plaza.

Santa Clara
Nuns from Puebla, Mexico came to Antigua to found the Santa Clara church and convent in 1699. The 1717 earthquake seriously damaged the construction and it took almost twenty years to rebuild. It was inaugurated again in 1734 and was housing forty-six nuns. It was abandoned after the 1773 quake. It was later used as housing until the roof fell in during the 1874 quake. In 1944, when the city was declared a national monument, the site was cleaned up and reconditioned, making it safe to open to the public. In 1976, during another earthquake, there was more damage but the place has now been restored to its 1976 state, sort of.
The convent has a beautiful facade, covered in archangels and saints. It is located on the corner of 6 Calle Ote and 2 Avenida Sur, open daily from 8am to 5pm, and admission is 30Q (US$3.75) for foreigners.

Iglesia de San Francisco
The first temple was built in 1579 but was soon destroyed. Its ruins are next to the San Francisco ruins. The present church was built throughout the 17th century. It started small but was enlarged in 1684, damaged by earthquake in 1689, and built bigger and better. By 1702, it covered four blocks and contained the church, a convent, a school and a hospital. There was severe damage during the 1717 quake and even more in 1751. In 1773, it was almost completely ruined. Reconstruction began in 1960 to much criticism. Many thought it was being made too whole, being turned into a "new" ruin. The facade was also restored; its figures are from the 20th century.
It is located on 7 Calle Ote and 1 Avenida Sur and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8am to 6pm. Inside is a museum, El Museo del Santo Hermano Pedro, which displays the religious belongings of Saint Hermano Pedro, still in remarkably good condition. Other religious objects, mostly paintings, are also displayed. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Admission is Q3 (US$.37).

La Concepcion
Built in the late 16th century, La Concepcion was one of the largest and the most luxurious of Antigua's convents. It covered five blocks and the nuns lived in grand style, surrounded by beautiful objects and creature comforts. It was seriously damaged in the 1717 quake and was damaged some more in 1751 and 1773. It was abandoned in 1774.
Little remains of this huge construction and much of what is left is buried. The front, built in 1694 remains, as do the cloisters. These ruins are on private property and not open to the public but are definitely worth a stop-and-peek from the street. They are located on 4 Calle Ote, east of 1 Avenida.

Tikal National Park
Peten Basin
Tikal, Guatemala
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