The definitive book on the architectural history of Antigua was written by Elizabeth Bell, a University professor in Guatemala City. She’s lived here for 44 years.
Last night, a concert at the beautiful Compania de Jesus. Bell says the Monastery was planned by two Jesuits in 1607 and functionally completed in 1626. Like all the building here it’s been tested by the various earthquakes and has of course failed. It survived the quake of 1717 but took serious damage in 1751, was abandoned after the quake of 1773 and became a textile factory in 1865. But the quake of 1976 did it in and what you see below is a simple facade, literally propped up by/with funds from the government and UNESCO. In my opinion it wasn’t designed to seduce like La Merced, nearly everyone’s favourite. It seems to have been designed to scare. It’s power makes it my favourite in Antigua.
Antigua is now officially crazy, with ten days to go before it explodes with the final procession. I’m not posting the various forms of madness because apparently it gets more intense, so we’ll wait before taking final photos.
Anyway some things come in from out of Guatemala. Last night, at Compania de Jesus, a band with the marketing disaster of a name McNally Smith Fusion played to a rapt local audience, who couldn’t figure them out at all, sat in chairs and didn’t move an inch all night. But the band was good.
Today the town continues to arm up. On top of the local forces the army and special elite force are moving in.