colonial architecture

A Walking Tour of León’s Churches

A walking tour is the most enjoyable and effective way to treat yourself to the impressive architecture of León’s churches. Ranging from the 16th to 18th centuries, these churches showcase colonial, baroque, and neoclassical styles, and sometimes combine two or even all three with brilliant results. Start at La Catedral de León, near the central park, then head either northeast or southwest.

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Planning Your Time in La Antigua, The Old Guatemala

The former capital of Guatemala destroyed by earthquakes in 1773 is now known as Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rather than rebuild, the country’s aristocracy opted for a fresh start. What remains today is a pleasant mixture of Mayan and Spanish colonial influences. Plan your time around exploring the town, its ruins, museums, and churches, maybe climbing a volcano, visiting a coffee farm, and some shopping.

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Sights in Antigua’s Parque Central

Antigua’s Parque Central is easily the most beautiful plaza in Guatemala and forms the hub of activity for shoe shiners, strolling lovers, tour groups, ice cream vendors, and foreign visitors. A great place for a stroll or people-watch, there are also plenty of sights to see, from historical cathedrals and incredible architecture to informative museums.

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Cuban Colonial Architecture

Cuba boasts the New World’s finest assemblage of colonial buildings. Spanning four centuries, these palaces, mansions, churches, castles, and more simple structures catalog a progression of styles. Learn how to identify the earmarks of each style in your travels throughout Cuba.

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The Churches of Southern Habana Vieja

The southern half of Habana Vieja, south of Calle Brasil, was the ecclesiastical center of Havana during the colonial era and is studded with churches and convents. For those interested in architecture and history, a visit to this area is a must.

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Sights Along Havana’s Calle Oficios

Cobbled Calle Oficios is lined with 17th-century colonial buildings that possess a marked Mudejar style, exemplified by their wooden balconies. Many buildings have been converted into cultural venues such as museums, art galleries, and performance spaces. A stroll along this street is a must for fans of architecture and history.

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Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Jason Frye

Jason Frye (Moon Great Smoky Mountain National Park)

Raised deep in the mountains of West Virginia, Jason Frye first fell in love with North Carolina as a kid during family vacations to the Outer Banks. In 2002, he swapped his mountains for sand dunes and his river for an ocean when he moved to Wilmington to pursue a master of fine arts in creative writing. There, his love for North Carolina deepened into a longing to stay, settle, explore, and be a part of the people, culture, and history of the state.

Along with his wife, Lauren, Jason has kayaked the marshes and waterways near his home; hang glided off the Outer Banks; explored the cityscapes of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem; and wandered the woods and wilds around Asheville.

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Jason has contributed stories to VisitNC.com, AAA’s Go Magazine, Our State magazine, Southern Living, Salt, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, and acts as a culinary critic for the Wilmington StarNews.

Keep up with Jason on Instagram @beardedwriter.