Church and Convent of Capuchins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Convento e Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza
Iglesia y convento de las Capuchinas  (Spanish)
Capuchinas.jpg
Capuchinas monastery
Church and Convent of Capuchins is located in Guatemala
Church and Convent of Capuchins
Location in Guatemala
General information
Architectural style Spanish seismic baroque
Location Antigua Guatemala,  Guatemala
Coordinates 14°33′38″N 90°44′28″W / 14.56056°N 90.74111°W / 14.56056; -90.74111Coordinates: 14°33′38″N 90°44′28″W / 14.56056°N 90.74111°W / 14.56056; -90.74111
Construction started 1731
Completed 1736
Owner Consejo Nacional Para la Protección de La Antigua Guatemala
Design and construction
Architect Diego de Porres

The Church and Convent of Capuchins is a notable convent and church in Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. It is one of the finest examples of an 18th-century convent in Guatemala.[1] It was consecrated in 1736 but like the rest of the city suffered damage during the 1751 and 1773 earthquakes respectively, and was abandoned by order of the Captain General at the time.

History[edit]

The building complex, originally called "Convento e Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza" -Convent and Church of Our Lady of Zaragoza-, was approved by king Felipe V in 1725 just when the Order of Capuchins arrived to Santiago de los Caballeros.[2] Construction started on 1731 and was blessed on 1736 under Diego de Porres supervision; in fact, it was the last convent to be built in the city, and the first one that stopped asking for a donation to the new nuns, allowing then poor ladies to embrace religious life.[3]

Daily routine for the nuns was ruled by strict regulations which include for some the maximum discipline on poverty, pennace and fasting; also, they should survive on the tithing only; nevertheless, since the arrival of this convent there were two kinds of nuns in Santiago de los Caballeros: discalced and urban.[4]

Attribute Discalced nuns Urban nuns
Designation Community life Private life
Admission cost None Donation in goods or property to produce revenues for the congregation
Lifestyle Enclosed Enclosed
Prayer In the chorus In the chorus
Austerity rules Strict: depended on tithing, silent at all times, except to pray and never drank chocolate.[Note 1] Relaxed: could have external income and were allowed to drink chocolate, except during fasting.
Rooms Common life in recreation rooms of work. They had a tiny "celda" which they only use to sleep. No common life at all. They lived in a large cell that was practically a small size house.
Feeding They ate together in silence in dining halls. They could not eat meat. They prepared their own food. They were allowed to eat meat unless they were fasting.
Help They had to perform all the monastery chores, or work in community service for the congregation. They could have personal servants and slaves.
Clothing Austere rustic clothes fibers. Fine clothes; often wore jewelry.
Footwear Simple sandals Shoes or slippers.
Special attributes None Tutors of girls entrusted to the convent.

In 1920, prince Wilhelm of Sweden visited Antigua Guatemala and mentioned that the old Capuchin monastery with its many underground passages from the monks' cells to those of the nuns was worth a visit, especially one part where the cells were built in a circle surrounding a central common chamber.[5]

Image Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The chocolate was the drink of choice in Guatemala during the colonial era. It was considered a liquid food.