Visit the Different Comayagua Historical Monuments!
There are several important Comayagua historical monuments. Many of them date from the Spanish Colonial Occupation of Central America. Others are from the early republican years of Honduras as an independent country. Following is a list of the most important Comayagua historical monuments. Please take note that I am note including a few buildings that are listed under our Museums in Comayagua Post.
Comayagua’s Cathedral is the largest and most important colonial monument in the city. It was consecrated on the 8th of December 1711. It is the largest temple dating back to colonial times in the country. Of the 16 original altars, only four survive to our days. They are all carved by hand in wood and have gold plating. Some have exquisite paintings and others artistic images of saints. Of the four altars that survive, the main altar is the most beautiful. The building has one belfry with 8 bells, which also houses the old Moorish clock on the third floor. The cathedral was recently restored and looks much like it did when it was just finished. One of the highlights in the cathedral is the old moor clock that still gives the time.
King Philip III donated it to the Comayagua Cathedral. It started telling time back in 1636. It was put to work in the what we now call the Church of Mercy. This was the Comayagua Cathedral until 1711. The clock is the oldest working clock in the Americas, and it still rings the bells every 15 minutes. Notice the old roman IIII instead of the more modern IV on the clock!
The Church of Mercy (La Merced)
The original Comayagua Cathedral was built between 1550 and 1551. It is the oldest temple built of brick and stone in Honduras and possibly in Central America that is still standing. It acquired the category of Cathedral in 1561. Thus it was one of the first Cathedrals in Central America. It once had two belfries, but one collapsed during an earthquake in 1774. It has fine and elaborate gold plated altars. You will also find delicate images of saints that have survived for centuries. The park in front of the church was recently remodeled. It is now a pleasant colonial style plaza. The large obelisk in the center of the plaza commemorates the first 100 years of Honduras as an independent nation.
Church and Convent of San Francisco
Built in 1560 by the Order of Saint Anthony, it’s patron saint was San Antonio (Saint Anthony). In 1575 the temple came under the jurisdiction of the Franciscan Friars. The Franciscan order arrived in Honduras sponsored by bishop Fray Jeronimo de Castilla. During the earthquake of 1774 part of the roof collapsed. The Franciscans replaced it with a wooden structure. Its structure has suffered many changes throughout the years. The bell in its tower dates to 1460 and came from Alcala de Henares in Spain.
Church of Charity (La Caridad)
Built in honor to Santa Lucia, this temple dates towards the end of the XVI th century. It was a parish for the native Indians of the area. During the XVII th century, the parish accepted blacks and other non white races who inhabited the area. In the back of the church you can see the remains of the only open air Indian chapel in Honduras. In its interior you can see the famous Lord of the Donkey. This religious statue depicts Christ riding a donkey. The statue is part of the Palm Sunday celebration in Comayagua. There is also an antique image of Saint Lucia, the original Patron of the church.
Church of Saint Sebastian
The smallest of the colonial church buildings in Comayagua. This was a temple for the Indians. It was half way between Comayagua and the Indigenous community of Tenguax. Although built in 1581, it suffered damage over the years due to different earthquakes. It was rebuilt and restored as recently as 1957. The remains of one of Honduras’ heroes, Jose Trinidad Cabanas lay in this small church. A fence around the church and a closed gate makes visits a bit complicated.
This is the most important civil construction in colonial Comayagua. Unfortunately not much of the original structure remains. Earthquakes, fires and abandonment destroyed what was the governors’ house and the coin mint. Only part of the façade is visible, as silent testimony of its past grandeur. Today this old building has been restored and converted into a convention center. It is a great venue, where people can get together and have a meeting or celebrate an event. The facility managed by the municipality.