Bernal Dí­az del Castillo Lived in La Antigua Guatemala

Bernal Diaz del Castillo in La Antigua Guatemala

The Antigua Guatemala is full plaques pointing to historic sites or events that happened here. The Antigüeños must luck the humor or wit described in the Ridicule film (if I am not mistaken) because all the plaques actually point to a real site or event, unlike modern day Paris where you can find plaques pointing to a site where on April 17th, 1967 nothing happened there (or other dates).

For instance, in the shot above you can see a plaque informing that this building was the residence of Bernal Dí­az del Castillo, a conquistador, who wrote an eyewitness account of the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards under Hernán Cortés. The plaque can be found in the south façade of the Compañí­a de Jesús building which now houses the Cooperación Española NGO or Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional as it is called in Spanish.

Dí­az took part in one of the most successful military campaigns in history, which brought an end to the Aztec empire in Mesoamerica. During this campaign, Dí­az spoke frequently with his companions in arms about their experiences, collecting them into a coherent narration. The book that resulted from this was Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España (“The (True History of) the Conquest of New Spain”)…

As a reward for his service, Dí­az was appointed governor of Santiago de los Caballeros, present-day (ed. La) Antigua Guatemala. He began writing his history in 1568, almost fifty years after the events described, in response to an alternative history written by Cortés’s chaplain, who had not actually participated in the campaign. He called his book the Verdadera Historia (“True History”), in response to the claims made in the earlier work. (Source: Wikipedia).

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