The Palace of the Captain’s General is one of the major tourist spots in Guatemala. This picturesque building is also of immense historical importance.
The palace is in Antigua Guatemala. This is in the central highlands of the country.
What to See
The stone columns are some of the most conspicuous features of the palace. There is also a museum. It is filled with information about the country. Many areas of the palace are still intact, while others are now used as government buildings.
For over two hundred years, this beautiful palace was the seat of power of Spain. If you are on a guided tour of the Palace of the Captain’s General, you will be informed the complex was built in 1549 and finished in 1558.
The earliest human settlers came around 12,000 BC or even 18,000 BC. During the Pre-Columbian era, civilization was highly developed even though it had virtually no contact with other cultures outside Mesoamerica. For almost 2,000 years the Maya dominated the area. The Spanish arrived in the 16th century.
But by the time they arrived, majority of the Great Classic Maya cities had already been abandoned. Subjugation of the natives began in 1523. Guatemala would become a Spanish colony for the next three centuries.
The country attained independence from Spain in 1821. It became a part of the Mexican Empire. The country would not gain full Independence until the 1840s. Since that time, the history of the country has been marked by periods of democratic rule, military junta and civil war.
Budget hotels in the country cost 4 to 5 USD per person. If you go to the market, you can get snacks and fruits for mere pennies. The comedores (cheap eateries) sell food for 3 to 4 USD.
Bus fares cost 1 USD. You can make make do with 15 to 30 USD a day. Even if you do some shopping, entrance fees and drinks, it usually comes up to no more than 60 USD.
The palace has been renovated several times. The rebuilding often took place after earthquakes. It was in 1735 when the Casa de la Moneda (mint) was inaugurated. Most of them were destroyed in a 1773 earthquake. Other earthquakes also affected the building in the past.
The Palace of the Captain’s General now has a two-tier arched facade. You will also see that it houses the city police and the INGUAT (Guatemala Tourist Institute) offices.