Religious Buildings Walk (Self Guided), Guatemala City

Guatemala City features something interesting and entertaining for everyone. The landmarks here are amazing and the architecture is impressive and unique. Every religious building in this city is a part of local culture and life. Take this walking tour to discover some of the most famous churches in Guatemala City.
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Religious Buildings Walk Map

Guide Name: Religious Buildings Walk
Guide Location: Guatemala » Guatemala City (See other walking tours in Guatemala City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
Author: sabrina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Santuario de Guadalupe
  • Cathedral of Guatemala City
  • Santa Teresa Church
  • Cerrito del Carmen
  • La Merced Church
  • Santo Domingo Church
  • San Miguel Capuchinas
  • San Francisco Church
1
Santuario de Guadalupe

1) Santuario de Guadalupe

Santuario de Guadelupe is a large single nave shrine located on historic First Avenue. The church’s main highlight is its richly decorated, high pipe organ. The ornate interior includes beautiful wooden carvings, frescoes and religious canvases. The architectural design of the sanctuary features a fine blend of stringent Neo-classical elements with elaborate Baroque ornamentations. Mass services are held on a daily basis and during numerous religious holidays, this church is transformed into a colourful festive extravaganza.
2
Cathedral of Guatemala City

2) Cathedral of Guatemala City (must see)

The Cathedral of Guatemala City, also Metropolitan Cathedral is the main church of Guatemala City and of the Archdiocese of Guatemala (Archidioecesis Guatimalensis). It is located at the Parque Central in the center of the city. The main body of the church was built between 1782 and 1815 while the towers were completed in 1867. Its massive structure incorporates baroque and classical elements and has withstood numerous earthquakes. Damage by the devastating earthquakes of 1917 and 1976 has been repaired.

The inside of the cathedral is relatively sparsely decorated but impresses by its size and its structural strength. The altars are ornate and decorative. In front of the cathedral stand a series of 12 pillars, solemnly remembering the names of thousands of people forcibly disappeared or murdered during the counterinsurgency violence of Guatemala's internal armed conflict, which began in 1960 and lasted until the final peace accord was signed in 1996.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Santa Teresa Church

3) Santa Teresa Church

Santa Teresa Church is a fine example of Renaissance architectural style. The church and convent were built at the end of the 17th century under orders from the mayor of the city Joseph de Porres who also happened to be an architect. The nuns who lived here managed to restore the complex several times after earthquakes damaged the complex. The solid and modest façade of the church is decorated with stucco carvings of Santa Teresa and other religious characters.
4
Cerrito del Carmen

4) Cerrito del Carmen (must see)

Dating back to the 16th century, Del Carmen Church is the oldest church in the city located on the top of the hill called Cerrito Del Carmen. Legend has it that in the past, this area was a place where drug addicts and criminals would meet, but nowadays, it is a charming spot for locals and tourists. Around the church there are many trees and vegetation that create an attractive park with benches and pathways. Guatemalans gather here to play games as well as to jog, exercise and relax while reading books in a peaceful atmosphere. It is also a place where vendors sell a variety of gifts and souvenirs. The historical church possesses a number of religious images including the well-known model of the Virgin Mary. Some people pray to this picture as they believe it is a blessed image, since it was stolen from here and returned back 100 years later. Visitors can enjoy a spectacular view of the city from this hill.
5
La Merced Church

5) La Merced Church (must see)

Built in 1540, La Merced Church is the most decorated Catholic Church in Guatemala City. Founded by the La Merced Order and taken over by Jesuit priests in the 19th century, this beautiful Baroque style church is a sister church of the famous Le Merced Church in Antigua, Guatemala’s second largest city. Lots of colourful activities and liturgical services are held here daily. The church houses an extensive collection of sculptures, paintings, religious art and other relics. Open daily from 6am to 6pm.
6
Santo Domingo Church

6) Santo Domingo Church

Santo Domingo Church is a magnificent Catholic Church, famous for its grandiose celebrations of the image of Virgen del Rosario, also known as Nuestra Señora del Rosario, the religious character crowned queen of Guatemala in 1933. Construction of the church began in 1782 and was completed in 1807. The elegant façade of the building received its new colour in 1917, when extensive restoration works were carried out, and when the carved stone statues were placed. Santo Domingo’s richly decorated façade suggests Baroque design, yet the gracious lines of the structure and classical elements such as Ionic columns reflect Neo-classical architectural style.
7
San Miguel Capuchinas

7) San Miguel Capuchinas

San Miguel Church was inaugurated in 1789 by the Capuchin Order. This beautiful colonial church contains numerous historical artifacts and religious relics including the only image in the world depicting Jesus on a mule. The temple also houses the remains of Archbishop Cayetano Francos y Monroy. The façade of the church is decorated with Baroque architectural style elements and the roof has a prominent Mudejar design. Liturgical services take place every day. Step inside to discover the beautiful altar and intricate wood carvings.
8
San Francisco Church

8) San Francisco Church (must see)

San Francisco is a large Catholic Church famous for its religious relics such as a statue titled Jesus Nazareno del Perdon, wooden carvings of Jesús Crucificado and La Pasión and a sculpture of Inmaculada Concepción, donated by Carlos V, which sits upon the 88-meter high and 11-meter wide altar. The construction of the church started at the very beginning of the 19th century and was completed in 1829. Mass services are held here every day.

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