San Juan del Obispo
Although this town itself is unremarkable, it bears mentioning for the impressive Palacio del Obispo, the original home of Bishop Francisco Marroquín, which was restored in 1939. Though it’s now used as a place for spiritual retreats, the nuns living there are happy to show you around if you ring the bell at a reasonable hour. The entrance is on the street behind the attached church.
Marroquín arrived with Alvarado and temporarily assumed government leadership in the wake of the death of Alvarado’s wife, Beatriz de la Cueva, who assumed power after his death. He also assumed a great deal of responsibility for the construction of the new capital at Antigua.
The palace interior is quite lovely and still contains original furniture in addition to a 16th-century portrait of Marroquín and religious artwork imported from Europe. There is also an ornate baroque chapel. There are some nice views of Antigua and the valley from here, just south of town.
Getting to San Juan del Obispo
Buses leave hourly from the Antigua bus terminal, taking about 20 minutes to get here.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com