Santiago de Guatemala in the Panchoy Valley

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In 1542, the Audiencia de los Confines of the General Captaincy of Guatemala was established in the City of Santiago de Guatemala, as its capital. In 1543, the first council meeting was held in the Panchoy Valley. The first land lots were assigned for the old destroyed city survivors, designing the city for some 5,000 inhabitants; the main families were settled in the city’s downtown and consecutively other pieces of land were provided for other Spanish and people of mixed races families to build their homes; As time went by the city grew and became a commercial, cultural, political and religious center for Central America for more than two centuries ( at that time Central America was formed by Chiapas, part of Yucatan, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica).

The city became so important in the New World that on June 10th, King Phillip II granted it the title of ” The Very Noble, and Very Loyal City of Santiago de los Caballeros of Guatemala”. But also, for more than two centuries it was lashed by several schisms that destroyed various monuments, which were constantly rebuild and enriched with new baroque styles from the XVII century and in some cases the renaissance original style was maintained.

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