Found on the north side of Parque Central , this large structure functioned as the town hall, also known as the Casa del Cabildo. It has miraculously withstood the test of time, not having been damaged by earthquakes until the most recent one in 1976, despite its construction dating to 1740.
Some fantastic views of Catedral de Santiago  and Agua Volcano are framed by the building’s beautiful arches from its second-floor balconies. Today the building houses the town municipal offices as well as the Museo de Armas de Santiago (9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 9 a.m.–noon and 2–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $1.50 admission), set in the city’s former town jail. It houses colonial artifacts, weapons, paintings, and furnishings.
Perhaps a bigger draw than the museum itself is the quite interesting colonial fountain embossed with the emblem of Santiago (St. James), found in a quiet courtyard. Next door, the Museo del Libro Antiguo (Antique Book Museum, tel. 7832-5511, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 9 a.m.–noon and 2–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $1.50 admission) features exhibits on colonial printing and binding processes. There’s a replica of the country’s first printing press, brought to Guatemala in 1660 from Puebla, Mexico.