The Santa Catalina Arch

Recognized as the most photographed tourist attraction in Antigua Guatemala. The Santa Catalina Arch is the place where tourists go when they arrive in the city, it is located in a central area and under this emblematic site have posed from international artists, tourists and locals.

It is an icon of the colonial city so thousands of tourists include it in their travel itinerary and destinations within Guatemala. On your visit to Antigua Guatemala don’t forget to go to the Santa Catalina Arch. Hotel la Galerìa is located a short distance from this attraction.

Historical Review of the Santa Catalina Arch

Its construction began in July 1693 and was completed in June 1694. The need for its construction arose when the monastery grew and it was necessary to occupy the block in front to accommodate the nuns of the convent.

The convent of Santa Catalina Mártir was a secluded place so the nuns could not be seen by private persons. To overcome this difficulty, the Santa Catalina Arch was built, helping the nuns to move from one place to another in a practical, fast and safe way without being seen from the outside.

Like other constructions in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, the Santa Catalina Arch was affected by several earthquakes in the 18th century. The earthquakes of San Miguel in 1717, San Caseiro 1751 and Santa Marta in 1773 caused serious damage, which led to a reconstruction of the arch of Antigua.

After the earthquakes, the reconstruction of the arch was carried out and a small tower was added with a French clock of the brand Lamy Amp Lacroix, this was placed in 1890.

The inclusion of the tower and the clock of French origin has been one of the last remodeling that the arch has suffered. Thus maintaining the structure and colonial design that can be seen today.

Curious data of the Arch of Santa Catalina

  • As the street of the arch is known the street where this outstanding construction is located.
  • Every day approximately 50 photographs are taken on the arch.
  • It is the most photographed monument of ancient times.
  • Whether in photographs or pictures tourists carry the arch of Santa Catalina as a souvenir of their visit to Antigua Guatemala.
  • The Lamy AmpLacroix watch is considered a jewel of the late nineteenth century.
  • The arch has not always been yellow, since colonial times it has changed color several times. Colors such as light blue, blue, white, gray, green, brown and black are some of the colors that have covered this icon of the colonial city.
  • It is the favorite spot for the antigüeños to receive the new year. During this date, a great deal of hype is formed, so if you find yourself in Antigu at the end of the year, don’t hesitate to take a night tour.

What to see on Calle del Arco in Antigua Guatemala

Being one of the busiest areas and streets of the colonial city in the area are various attractions that tourists can enjoy as the following:

  • For those who enjoy the nightlife in the vicinity there are bars that close until 1 am.
  • Typical costume shops.
  • An Irish bar, which is the meeting point for both local and foreign tourists.
  • An Italian restaurant with speciality in pizzas and pasta.
  • Tourists can enjoy its colonial architecture and take excellent postcards with two of the volcanoes that surround Antigua Guatemala in the background.

Access to this tourist attraction of Guatemala is free, you can stay as long as you want. It is located on 5 Avenida Norte between 1 and 2 Calle Poniente. The gallery is a hotel near the Santa Catalina Arch, is located a few meters away, so you can rest in our rooms and visit the arch of Antigua.

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