From 1543 to 1776, "Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala" (the actual "Antigua") was the capital city of the "Capitania General de Guatemala", also known as the "Kingdom of Guatemala". From this very building, at the Southern side of the city's "Plaza Mayor" (or "Parque Real"), the "Palacio Real de los Capitanes Generales", the Spanish conquerors governed a huge area that comprised Guatemala itself and the todays territories of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Mexican State of Chiapas. The awesome colonial building, with its double-arcaded facade, dates from 1549 and housed the "Capitanía General del Reino de Guatemala" (the seat of the colonial government), the "Real Audiencia" (the supreme court), the "Tesoro Real" (the royal treasury), as well as the public jail, army quarters and accomodations for the members of the colonial government and supreme court. "Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala" was then the richest capital of Spain's New World! This magnificent building survived the innumerable earthquakes that have struck the region. After extensive renovations, the "Palacio Real de los Capitanes Generales" is used today for occasional exhibitions and events. So, it is generally closed for internal visits, but its monumental facade represents indeed the enormous Spanish colonial power in Central America and, whether liking it or not, the history of Spain's New World cannot be simply erased. Its scenic 54 arches make the "Palacio Real de los Capitanes Generales" one of the most photographed buildings in beautiful Antigua. Enjoy!