Church of San Francisco (Iglesia de San Francisco)
As you enter, spot the differences in architecture used throughout the complex. An earthquake destroyed the original 16th-century Franciscan monastery, and the Church of San Francisco was built in its place, with additions made throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Learn more about the church and Antigua’s signature baroque style on a guided walking tour, and visit top attractions such as Museo to del Jade and a working coffee plantation. Some tours start with a morning hike up Cero de la Cruz, and end with a soak at the hot springs heated by Pacaya, the most active volcano in Guatemala.
Things to Know Before You Go
*The church is an ideal spot for history and architecture buffs.
- Remember to dress appropriately to enter churches in Guatemala; cover shoulders, kness, and ankles.
- No photography is allowed inside the church.
- An on-site museum holds several relics of Brother Peter.
- Have a picnic within the monastery ruins next door (there is a small fee).
- Shop for souvenirs at the artisan market inside the church walls.
How to Get There
The Church of San Francisco is located on 7a Calle Poniente, five blocks southwest from Plaza Mayor, the main plaza in Antigua. It’s within easy walking distance from any part of the city. At the north end of the church find the Vera Cruz Chapel to visit Hermano Pedro’s tomb.
When to Get There
The church is open daily with masses held in the mornings and at midday. Visit on a Sunday, when the church offers several masses, each one overflowing with the devout. If you’re traveling during Semana Santa (Lenten and Holy Week), this is the place to be, with its many moving festivities and processions.
Santo Hermano Pedro’s Tomb On your way to the tomb, you’ll pass a large esquisúchil tree that Brother Peter planted in 1657, and a bronze sculpture of the monk. Behind the tomb is a stained-glass window depicting his arrival in Heaven. Notice the colored candles representing prayer requests: red for love, blue for work, pink for health, and so on. Some are shaped like ears or eyes signifying an afflicted body part.
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- Museum of Colonial Art (Museo de Arte Colonial)
- Catedral de Santiago (Antigua Cathedral)
- ChocoMuseo Antigua
- Jade Factory and Museum (Jade Maya)
- Palace of the Captains General (Palacio de los Capitanes Generales)
- Antigua Central Park (Parque Central)
- Santa Catalina Arch (Arco de Santa Catalina)
- Casa Santo Domingo (Monasterio de Santo Domingo)
- Antigua City Hall (Palacio del Ayuntamiento)
- Las Capuchinas (Convento de Las Capuchinas)
- La Merced Church (Iglesia de la Merced)
- Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross)
- Pacaya Volcano