Santiago de Los Caballeros was the first planned city in the New World.

Its layout was assigned to the architect Juan Bautista Antonelli. He oriented streets and avenues a grid- like pattern, starting from the Central Plaza and extending from north to south and from east to west to from the core of the city.

As time went by, communities dedicated to specific crafts or industries developed around it, forming small towns, now part of modern Antigua.

 

 
     
 

In the old days, this plaza looked quite different from what we see today.

There were no trees or central fountain; it wasn’t paved witch stones until 1703 .

On weekdays, it served as market place, and on special occasions it was seat of public celebrations, military parades, and even bullfights.

On one side, there used to be a scaffold for public hangings.

 

     
The City Hall surrounded the plaza to the north, the palace of the captaincy to the south, the cathedral and Bishop’s Palace to the east, and on the west by the portal provided shelter for the night to merchants who come to the marketplace from far away towns.  

 

     
  Is central fountain, built in 1739 by the well-known architect Diego de Porres, is one of his many contributions to the city.

Using fragments of the original fountain, it was reconstructed in 1936 by the Guatemalan artist Oscar Gonzales Goyri.

 

     
 
 

 

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