Antigua Guatemala (1979)

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Antigua, the capital of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala, was founded in the early 16th century. Built 1,500 m above sea-level, in an earthquake-prone region, it was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 but its principal monuments are still preserved as ruins. In the space of under three centuries the city, which was built on a grid pattern inspired by the Italian Renaissance, acquired a number of superb monuments. 

Guatemala 1972. Ruins of Antigua. Arches.


Guatemala 1972. Ruins of Antigua. Cathedral.


Guatemala 1972. Ruins of Antigua. Fountain in Central Park.

Fountain in Central Park

Guatemala 1972. Ruins of Antigua. Capuchin Monastery.

Capuchin Monastery

Guatemala 1972. Ruins of Antigua. Fountain and Santa Clara.

Fountain and Santa Clara

Guatemala 1972. Ruins of Antigua. Portal of San Francisco.

Portal of San Francisco

The above set of six stamps were printed in blocks of six, as shown. They exist also with overprint. The stamps were issued in 4 different colours and 4 different face values, the others being: 

1973: 2½c in black, lilac rose and silver 
1973: 5c in blue, orange and black 
1973: 1q in red, blue and black. 

Guatemala 1922. The National Palace in Antigua. Guatemala 1943. Air Post. San Carlos University, Antigua.

Antigua Guatemala is the capital of Sacatepéquez Department, near Guatemala City. Antigua Guatemala is situated in a narrow valley at the foot of the dormant volcano Agua (3,776 m/12,388 ft). It is the market town for the surrounding highlands, in which fine grades of coffee beans are grown. Wheat, sugarcane, and fruits and vegetables are other important highland crops. Founded in 1542 after the nearby town of Ciudad Vieja was destroyed in a flood, Antigua Guatemala was for more than 200 years the seat of the military governor of the Spanish colony of Guatemala, a large region that included almost all of present-day Central America. The town was almost completely destroyed in 1773 by an earthquake, and Guatemala City was founded as the new capital. A number of well-preserved Spanish colonial buildings survive, however, and make the town a tourist attraction. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Guatemala (on this website). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Guatemala section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 03 aug 2006  
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