The capital of the country is Guatemala City, which stretches across a mountain valley at the foot of the volcanoes. Today it is the largest city in Central America with a population of over 3 million people, noisy and chaotic, where the slums are combined with luxurious mansions. This is undoubtedly the most amazing part of the capital.

The heart of the city is a windswept square of ​​ Park Central, from where all distances are measured in Guatemala. Despite its importance, the square is visited only by taxi drivers and pigeons. Only on Sunday, when there a market opens here, the locals come to the square to shop, to just walk around, gossip and eat in a circle of acquaintances. Near a giant flagpole with the flag of Guatemala, which is considered the center of the country, there is an eternal flame dedicated to the 'unknown heroes of the world.' For many Guatemalans, this is the place of pilgrimage. The square also hosts the National Palace, which now is a museum of the history of Guatemala. On the east side, there is Catedral Metropolitano with turquoise domes. Behind the cathedral, there stretches Mercado Central market, whose architecture is more reminiscent of a nuclear bunker.

The western outskirts of the city are notable due to the extensive ruins of Kaminalhuyu, one of the most important settlements of the 'classical period' of the Mayan civilization. Unfortunately, today it is almost impossible to imagine the greatness of this place 700 years ago.

The old capital of the country, Antigua, lies in a broad mountain valley Pancho, sandwiched between the cones of volcanoes. The strongest earthquake of Santa Marta destroyed nearly all the buildings, monasteries and monuments, many of which are now restored. As a result, Antigua has become a major tourist center in the country, numbering many churches and palaces, but the capital was moved to Guatemala City. In 1979, Antigua was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The sights of the city include the central area of ​​the Park Central, with the cathedral Catedral de San Jose on the east side, Palace General, Municipality, the ruins of La Kapuchinas, the arch of Santa Catalina, the Church of La Merced with a beautiful carved facade, and the ruins of the Catholic School of San Jeronimo. The museum Museo de Santiago in the building of the old city jail contains an extensive collection of the objects of the colonial period. Museo del Libro Antigua houses the first printed books in Central America, and Casa K'Ohom is a beautiful museum of music and Maya ceremonies.

Perhaps the most fascinating and beautiful part of the country is situated around the highlands of Antigua. The chain of magnificent volcanoes in the south and the high mountain ranges that dominate its northern borders, lakes, mountain streams and picturesque deep valleys make the territory extremely attractive. These irrigated valleys with terraced slopes are inhabited by friendly and proud people, the descendants of the Maya. It is worth visiting the Center for coffee in Alotenango, traditional Indian village of Santa Maria de Jesus and Santiago Atitlan, Solola market town and other towns around the incredibly scenic Lake Atitlan, or climbing the slopes of the menacing local volcanoes.

Unlike many other ancient cities of the era, Tikal is located deep in the dense tropical forest. The city has more than 3,000 different sites, including temples and palaces, and lies within the Tikal National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as a vast forest with a huge variety of wildlife. The place is known for the six huge pyramids, the Acropolis, 16 churches, several hundred specimens of sculpture and a small museum that contains a collection of objects found during excavations in the city.

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Ancient Palaces in Guatemala