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One of the main attractions Antigua has for tourists is its architecture. The city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in the early 16th Century by Spanish colonists. Its designers modeled the city and many of its buildings after Italian Renaissance architecture, laying out the streets in a grid pattern and building several grand cathedrals. In the 1770's Antigua suffered a major earthquake, destroying many of its buildings and streets. The ruins of these buildings were eventually excavated and can be seen by visitors along with the city's other historic buildings which were lucky enough to survive the quake.
Some of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial buildings in Antigua are found in the city's cathedrals, churches and convents. Many of these buildings are still in use today and have been well preserved and maintained. The ruins of several cathedrals can also be visited, these giving visitors a true sense of what they might have been like hundreds of years ago. Other interesting architectural structures in Antigua include its colonial plazas and marketplaces and walled courtyards. For more information on Antigua and its architecture click here.
These photos of the cathedral were taken in August 2007.