Iglesia de la Merced
1a Calle Poniente
The canary-yellow splendor of Iglesia de La Merced guards over the northern reaches of Antigua, marking the end of the Calle del Arco and facing a large, pleasant plaza that usually holds vendors of street food, fruits, and religious articles for church-goers. The stunning facade of La Merced is carved with elaborate Baroque-style reliefs, including alcoves holding statues of important religious figures, all of which is today painted sparkling white to stand out against the bright yellow walls. Construction began on the church in 1548, and it was nearly continuously improved and repaired until the 1717 earthquake seriously damaged the structure. The church was rebuilt in the mid-18th Century (1767) and again between 1850 and 1855, when the facade was erected, to survive future earthquakes. The adjacent monastery, on the other hand, has crumbled into ruins under the onslaught of these many earthquakes, but still holds an immense fountain called Fuente de Pescados
whose diameter measures over 25 meters (80 feet).