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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Experience the Life of the City

Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Allison Williams

Allison Williams (Moon Seattle)

Allison worked as a writer and editor in New York City for eight years. When the lure of the Northwest became impossible to ignore, she relocated to Seattle and has since realized two lifelong dreams: summiting Mount Rainier and poking sticks into the campfire without being yelled at.

She earned her MFA in creative writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where her fiction thesis won the Jason Wenger Award for Literary Excellence. Her journalistic work has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and a nomination from the City and Regional Magazine Association. As senior editor at Seattle Met magazine, she covers travel and the outdoors by hiking every trail and driving every road she can find on a map.

You can follow Allison on Twitter (@aliwill) and Instagram (@aliwill12).