Silver came to the Americas in the 16th century with the Spanish conquerors. They brought it for religious purposes- crosses, flags, incense burners and chalices.
The foundations of the main cloister and fountain are original. A cloister is a covered walk in a convent, monastery, college, or cathedral, typically with a wall on one side and a colonnade open to a quadrangle on the other-
This tombstone is from 1659 and reads " this is of Maria of Spain and her heirs"-
As space became limited in the floor, bones were accumulated in corner boxes called ossuaries-
Clerics were buried in the floor wearing their habit and holding their rosary-
I like how they are using the former walls of the convent as part of their modern day church-
This fellow is from the same period: 300-900 A.D.-
The hole in the belly of this diety allows the soul of the deceased to exit to the upper world-
The Pre Columbian and Glass Art Museum is really cool because not only does it incorporate partial walls from the convent but modern glass pieces mimick the ancient works-
This ornate funeral urn dates from 300-900 A.D.-
In the Sacatepequez Arts and Crafts Museum, the art of candle making is explained-
I've been wondering why fireworks and firecrackers are constantly exploding and a display in the museum explained that they are very popular and used to celebrate birthdays, weddings, fairs, baptisms...you name it. There are numerous loud blasts every day. Combine that with the constant rumble of Volcan Fuego, it makes for a noisy place!
After the museums, I had an hour lesson of salsa dancing. Two women led the class- they were so sexy and their moves were smooth and light. I felt like an old plug! It was fun and I caught on.... eventually... well sort of. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity again in San Pedro de la Laguna, my next stop.
Tomorrow I'm going to the Azotea Cultural Center in Jacotenango with Sheny, my teacher. It is on my list of things to do while in Antigua so I'm looking forward to it.