Iglesia de La Merced

Erected in 1767 by friars from the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, or Mercedarians, La Merced was one of the few buildings in Antigua to withstand the Santa Marta earthquake that struck seven years later. This was due to the ingenuity of architect Juan de Dios Estrada, who designed the building with his memories and observations of the tremor of 1751 fresh in his mind: the building’s modest height, bottom-heavy orientation, wide arches, and robust columns were intended to withstand earthquakes. La Merced was abandoned in 1829 when President Francisco Morazán expelled all clergy from what was then called the Federal Republic of Central America; the church wasn’t reopened until 1853, by which time the attached monastery had fallen victim to looters who plundered its building materials for use elsewhere. Today, visitors can take in a distinctive yellow facade that has been called the most beautiful example of Spanish Baroque architecture in Antigua, pay the admission fee for the ruins of the monastery whose courtyard boasts what is reputed to be the largest fountain in Central America (the Mercedarian monks once raised fish in it), or — if you happen to be in town during ”semana santa” (Holy Week, the week before Easter) — check out the processions that wind through the streets of old Antigua on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, beginning and ending at the church.

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Information

  • Direction: no info
  • Open Hours: M-F 08:00-12:30 & 15:00-18:00, Sa-Su 08:00-12:00 & 14:00-18:00
  • Checkin: no info
  • Checkout: no info
  • Price: Admission fee to convent GTQ15

Contact

  • Address: 6ª Avenida Norte, corner of 1ª Calle Poniente
  • Phone Number: +502 7832-0559
  • FAX: no info
  • URL: http://www.lamerceddeantigua.com
  • Email: no info

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