Antigua Guatemala

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This card comes from Ale. 🙂

Antigua Guatemala (commonly referred to as just Antigua or la Antigua) is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque influenced architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Antigua Guatemala means “Ancient Guatemala” and was the third capital of Guatemala. It definitely looks like a must-visit place! 🙂

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Lake Atitlán

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This beautiful Guatemalan card comes from Ale. 🙂

Lake Atitlán is recognized to be the deepest lake in Central America with maximum depth about 340 metres. The lake is shaped by deep escarpments which surround it and by three volcanoes on its southern flank. Lake Atitlan is further characterized by towns and villages of the Maya people.

“At the water” is the meaning of “Atitlan”. It is a fusion of simple Nahuatl words that belies the complexity of the entity it identifies. German explorer Alexander von Humboldt is the earliest prominent foreigner generally quoted as calling it “the most beautiful lake in the world.”

Iglesia de San Andrés Xecul

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Just today I received this beautiful card (along with 3 others) from the lovely Alejandra who lives in Guatemala. You should Google this church and see some pictures, take a closer look at the details… It looks really impressive! 😀

Starkly differing from the drab and cold cathedrals of mainland Europe, La Iglesia de San Andres is a wildly colored and visually-stunning proclamation of faith. With its bright yellow facade, it is impossible to miss on a trip into Xela. However, along with its obvious beauty, the church carries an obvious legacy of colonial influence in Guatemala.
Despite the connection of the church with its forceful past, the designs on the facade are distinctly Latin American and more specifically Mayan. Aside from the typical bright colors and designs, many of the figures depicted on the church are also holding ferns, leaves and other plants. This strong connection to nature harkens back to the pre-Colombian era and humans interaction with nature.
In many ways, the Mayan influenced patterns sharply differentiate the church from classic Christian monuments. However, the bright colors also serve to put the lasting impact of European influence front and center in the city of Xela, forcing an unavoidable history lesson, even for those that don’t want to remember the European legacy on Latin America.

Tikal

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My first postcard from Guatemala comes from Alejandra. 😀

Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén, the site is part of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Though monumental architecture at the site dates back as far as the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 to 900 AD