Iglesia de San Francisco


This church is imbued with the spirit of Hermano Pedro de San José de Bethancourt, a Franciscan monk who founded a hospital for the poor in Antigua and earned the gratitude of generations. On the south side are the ruins of the adjoining monastery, with some vivid frescoes still visible amid its earthquake rubble.

Hermano Pedro's intercession is still sought by the ill, who pray fervently by his tomb, housed in an elaborate pavilion since his canonization in 2002. Devotees may enter via a garden north of the church. A museum is haphazardly strewn with relics from the church and Santo Hermano's well-preserved personal belongings, while the corridor is plastered with thank-you notes for miracles attributed to the saint.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Antigua attractions

1. Iglesia y Convento de Santa Clara

0.13 MILES

Established by sisters from Puebla, Mexico, Santa Clara was inaugurated in 1734, destroyed four decades later by the great quake and abandoned…

2. Iglesia de la Escuela de Cristo

0.17 MILES

Within this remarkably well-preserved church is a life-size Christ figure, who is borne around town during Antigua's enormous Semana Santa processions…

3. Iglesia y Convento de Belén

0.19 MILES

In the garden outside this convent is a poignant statue of Hermano Pedro, the revered saint whose shadow looms large in Antigua. It was here that he died…

4. Choco Museo

0.28 MILES

It was the Maya who discovered the culinary uses of the cacao bean, which later became a form of currency for the Aztec empire. These are a few of the…

5. Catedral de Santiago


Antigua's cathedral was begun in 1545, wrecked by the quake of 1773, and only partially rebuilt over the next century. The present sliver of a church –…

6. Palacio de los Capitanes Generales

0.32 MILES

Dating from 1549, the palace was colonial headquarters for all of Central America, from Chiapas to Costa Rica, until the capital was relocated in 1776…

7. Iglesia de San José El Viejo

0.33 MILES

Originally built as a shrine to house the image of Saint Joseph, this church stood completed for just 11 years before the 1773 earthquake laid it low. Its…

8. Parque Central

0.34 MILES

Surrounded by superb colonial structures, this broad and beautiful plaza is the gathering place for antigüeños and visitors alike – a fine, verdant place…