Dominican Order in Central America can be traced back to 1538 in Ciudad
Vieja where the Dominican missionaries lived in a humble convent. One of
its founders, Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, is known in Guatemala’s
history as the "protector of the Indians".
When the capital was moved to Antigua and land was assigned to the
Catholic orders, Santo Domingo received the most and became in time one
the largest and wealthiest monasteries in the city.
Domingo was totally destroyed in 1773 so almost everything we known
about it come from what historians wrote at the time.
Its rubble was uses as build material throughout the XIX century.
The church had two towers with ten bells. The first public clock of
the city was installed in one if them. Both church and monastery were
filled with artistic treasures and its huge octagonal fountain was
even had an artificial lake for fishing and boating.
Is association with the Dominicans, but mainly through the efforts of
Bishop Marroquin, a school was founded in Santo Domingo, called Colegio
Santo Tomas de Aquino, predecessor of the University of San Carlos. Many
important personalities attended this school.
1676, when the foundation of the University was finally authorized by
royal decree, Santo Domingo was elected as its seat, where it remained
until 1763 when it moved to its new building.
In colonial days, the neighborhood around Santo Domingo was very
lively, noisy and busy with commerce. Today a beautiful hotel has been
skillfully incorporated into the ruins of the monastery, bringing back
some of the past charm to this old section of Antigua.
What little remains of the ruins of Santo Domingo is presently being