Downtown Historical Center, Guatemala City
Plaza Mayor is Guatemala City's hectic center near the retail district.Its busiest on the weekends when its alive with music, street vendors and locals.The Plaza Mayor is a good starting point for a walk through the city and the square is surrounded by architectural landmarks, such as the Palacio Nacional and the Catedral Metropolitana.
The National Palace is one of Guatemala City's prominent buildings. Eclectic in style, it mixes Renaissance, neo-Classical and Baroque. The best Guatemalan artists participated in the construction of this 8,890 sq m/96,000sq ft. granite edifice, which was commissioned by General Jorge Ubico and built between 1936 and 1943.Many of the ornate state chambers can be visited. The palace displays Guatemalan paintings and murals by Alfredo Suarez depicting the conquest of Guatemala.Kilometre zero, the exact center of Guatemala, is located in the center of the palace's drawing room.
Twin-towered Catedral Metropolitana was completed in 1815 and represents the neo-classical architecture of the 19th C.Catedral Metropolitana shelters many works of art that were originally in the Cathedral of Antigua Guatemala. The image of the Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro is the oldest image in Guatemala and it was brought into the country by Hernan Cortés in 1522.The Cathedral has survived through three earthquakes, in 1830, 1917 and 1976.
Parque Centenario (Centenary Park) is where Central American Independence was proclaimed in 1821. The center of the original colonial government was located where shoe shiners now gather.
Historical Shopping Arcade
National Museum of History
Guatemala's history is detailed at the National Museum of History, through political documents stemming from its 1821 independence, furniture displays and Guatemala's richest photographic collection. A reference library is included.