Top choice monastery in Antigua. Founded by Dominican friars in 1542, Santo Domingo took over as biggest and richest monastery in Antigua. Following three 18th-century earthquakes, the buildings were pillaged for construction material. The site was acquired to be a private residence in 1970 by the North American archaeologist, who performed extensive excavations before it was bought out by the Casa Santo
Domingo Hotel. The archaeological zone may be innovatively restored to be a 'cultural route.'
The zone includes the picturesque ruined monastery church, the adjacent cloister having a replica with the original fountain, workshops for candle and pottery makers, and a couple underground crypts which were discovered over the church excavations. One of these, the Calvary Crypt, boasts a well-preserved mural with the Crucifixion dating from 1683.
Also part on the archaeological zone are six museums, with extraordinarily rich collections presented in top-class exhibitions. All might be visited with one admission ticket. This museum route might be entered probably through the hotel and the Universidad de San Carlos extension on 1a Av Norte. Starting from the place side, the road includes these museums: the Museo de la Platería, with silver-work masterpieces including incense burners, candelabras and crowns; the Museo Colonial, with canvases and wooden sculpture on religious themes in the 16th to 18th centuries; the Museo Arqueológico, with ceramic and stone objects in the Maya Classic period;
the cleverly curated Museo de Arte Precolombino y Vidrio Moderno, with Mayan sculpture and ceramics shown as art pieces alongside glass functions modern artists; the Museo de Artes y Artesanías Populares de Sacatepéquez, with exhibits on traditional handicrafts on the Antigua region; along with the Museo de la Farmacia, a restored version of an 19th-century apothecary's shop from Guatemala City.