Las Capuchinas Church and Convent
baths were viewed negatively as risky to one's health. Wearing clean clothes was considered more important than maintaining a clean body, other than the hands and face. However, by the time Las Capuchinas was constructed, opinions were beginning to change, hence the inclusion of these baths in the convent. Still, with only two tubs for all those nuns and children, it is unlikely that baths were a daily occurrence for most nuns.
San Francisco Church and Monastery.
encomienda system, local authorities promptly assigned the income from 120 Maya villages to the friars. The Franciscans were quick to move from the original Santiago de Guatemala to the one that later became Antigua.
La Concepción Church and Convent
An area we didn't visit contains the apartments of Sor Juana Maldonado, the nun from the wealthy family. In the 1620s, Sor Juana used her family's resources to make herself comfortable in her new convent home. Elizabeth Bell reports that Sor Juana's suite included "galleries, a private garden, hot baths, and a half a dozen servants". Also included were an altar "decked with jewels, candlesticks, crowns, lamps, and covered with a canopy embroidered with gold... " This was all rather extreme, even for an era that allowed rank its privileges. Local legend holds that she got away with it because the bishop was her lover. I mused about how many Maya villages were required to provide the income to allow such a lifestyle for a woman who, theoretically, was supposed to be living in poverty and chastity.
This concludes my posting on our visit to Antigua, Guatemala. Our next adventure was a long trek up to Guatemala's ancient Classic Era Maya site of Tikal, located in the center of the remote, heavily-jungled, limestone plateau of Petén. I hope you enjoyed Antigua as much as we did. There was so much we didn't see that we are determined to return before long. If you would like to comment on this posting, please use the Comments section below, or email me directly.
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Hasta luego, Jim