The city is located in the central highlands of Guatemala and is famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque influenced architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is commonly referred to as just Antigua or la Antigua.
Antigua was founded in the early 16th century. Built 1,500 m above sea-level, in an earthquake-prone region, it was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 but its principal monuments are still preserved as ruins. In the space of under three centuries the city, which was built on a grid pattern inspired by the Italian Renaissance, acquired a number of superb monuments.