Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Antigua, Guatemala: A Precarious Walk


Calle Chipilapa, Antigua, Guatemala. April 2016.

My airbnb place in Antigua was at the T at the "top" of 7th Calle, the same street San Francisco Church is on.

One morning, I took a left onto Calle de Chipilapa from my neighborhood enclave instead of taking my usual straight shot down 7th Calle.

The walk along Chipilapa was treacherous. This main artery around Antigua is almost always clogged with vehicular traffic in both directions. When a sidewalk exists, it is narrow.

But there came a moment when I gasped at the unexpected beauty of a sight on my left. 

Ermita de la Santa Cruz, Calle Chipilapa, Antigua, Guatemala. April 2016.


It was as if I had been walking through a rain forest and suddenly came upon an undiscovered temple.

Ermita de la Santa Cruz, Calle Chipilapa, Antigua, Guatemala. April 2016.


Wow.


Ermita de la Santa Cruz, Calle Chipilapa, Antigua, Guatemala. April 2016.


Back in the day, the Ermita de la Santa Cruz (the Hermitage of Santa Cruz) was a Catholic temple built for the indigenous people in the area. Originally constructed in 1664, earthquakes required renovations in 1717 and 1773. A 1943 earthquake really did a number on it, and it decayed in place until 1973, when it was restored sufficiently to serve as a back-drop for musical and theatrical performances.

Seeing this treasure was worth the precarious walk.



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