An earthquake struck Guatemala on July 29, 1773 and had an estimated epicentral intensity magnitude of 7.5 Mi. It was followed by numerous aftershocks which lasted until December 1773. The series of all these earthquakes is also referred to as the Santa Marta earthquakes as it had started on the feast day of Saint Martha. With an intensity of approximately 7.5 the Santa Marta earthquakes destroyed much of Antigua Guatemala, at that time the colonial capital of Central America. About 500 – 600 people died immediately and at least another 600 died from starvation and disease as a result of the earthquake.
Spanish authorities had already considered moving the capital to a safer area after the devastation of the 1717 earthquake and decided after the 1773 event not to rebuild the city again. Thus in 1776 the capital was moved to the new city of Guatemala of Asuncion, known today as today Guatemala City. (source: Wikipedia)
Las ruinas de La Recolección still stand as they were left after the earthquake of July 29, 1773, thus the ruins served as testimony and document of the powerful forces the quakes of Santa Marta. It’s sort of Antigua Guatemala’s time capsule.
Have you visited the ruins of La Recolección?
© 2010 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.