This week I had a Scottish guest that flew in from Tegucigalpa. She is traveling with her two young boys and had booked a flight in and out of Tegucigalpa. So when we got into talking, and I asked what she had seen in Tegucigalpa, she told me that she had visited Santa Lucia, a charming colonial town just outside of Tegucigalpa. She said that she had inquired at the hotel about downtown and Plaza Morazán, and she was told there was nothing to see there! That sounds so much like us in Honduras. We do not appreciate what we have and always downplay our assets!
I told her that Plaza Morazan in Tegucigalpa is one of my favorite spots in the capital city! There is so much to see there and in the nearby blocks. Of course, for most city dwellers from Tegus, it is a hassle to go downtown, traffic, noise, people… But there is so much to see that it is well worth the time to visit. There are even some nice hotels in the downtown area where you can stay if you want to get a feel for downtown Tegucigalpa.
By far, the most impressive building on Plaza Morazan is the Cathedral of Tegucigalpa. This colonial building is well maintained and usually open. This means that you can visit the Cathedral of Saint Michael Archangel on any given day or time. Of course, if they are celebrating the Eucharist, you need to be respectful of the Catholic traditions and would be better off waiting until the ceremony comes to an end.
Exploring the Area Around Plaza Morazan in Tegucigalpa.
One block south of Plaza Morazán you will find the Plaza de las Mercedes. This plaza has contrasting architecture. On one end you will see the magnificent church of La Merced and the National Art Gallery, which was once a convent next to the church. On the other side you will see the National Congress building. The Church of La Merced, offers a view at the most elaborate religious art in Tegucigalpa. It is the pride and joy of the Catholic Church in Tegucigalpa and is very well kept up. The National Art Gallery offers a variety of outstanding art from diverse Honduran artists. They also offer interesting exhibits from around the world.
One block west of the Church of La Merced is the old Presidential Palace. Today, the building houses a museum that exhibits the Republican History of Honduras. It is a lovely building that has been totally renovated. If you backtrack to Plaza Morazan in Tegucigalpa, you can follow the Pedestrian Street, which locals call Paseo Liquidambar that leads directly west from the plaza. Exactly three blocks west and one block north you will come to the Plaza de los Dolores. This was once the center of Tegucigalpa. In addition to the colonial church, you will see a magnificent bronze statue of St. Michael Archangel who has just defeated Satan!
Further West along the Paseo Liquidambar you will come across several other interesting buildings and sites. The old post office sits across the street from the Museo de Identidad Nacional. The latter is probably the most complete museum in Honduras and offers a virtual tour of the Archaeological site of Copan, in Western Honduras. Finally, you will come to a small park: Parque Herrera. This park is directly across the street from the Teatro Bonilla, which is the historic theater building in Tegucigalpa. The Theater still holds artistic representations and part of the pride and joy of the capital city.
As you can see, a visit to Plaza Morazán in Tegucigalpa can provide with a lot of history, an opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful building in town and many different museums. To me, this is one of top places to visit in Tegucigalpa. Over the years, I have found that Plaza Morazan and the surrounding areas are safe. As always, make sure you are not walking around with flashy jewelry and always be alert. It is probably best not be walking around at night in the area, especially if you are alone.