Iglesia y Convento de Santa Clara

The construction of Iglesia y Convento Santa Clara began in 1699, commissioned by the Franciscan order. It was established as a religious retreat for nuns belonging to the Order of Saint Clare, also known as the Poor Clares. The convent, founded by 3 nuns from Mexico and designed by architect Diego de Porres, used the Baroque architectural style that was prevalent during the colonial era, featuring elegant details and ornate facades that showcase the artistic craftsmanship of the time. It took 3 years to complete.

Guest Reviews:

Wow. Amazing. We lucked out and we were almost the only ones there. It really feels like you are wandering through a fairy tail. Incredible views of surrounding mountains and volcanoes, lush gardens, stunning ruined architecture. Small museum also really cool to check out for more history! -Olga Shumovskaya

The Santa Clara Convent was my favorite ruins I visited in Antigua. The beauty is absolutely breathtaking. The structure is well preserved and stunning. There was a wedding planner there and I think the couple made this their final venue decision, which didn’t surprise me. There’s an entry fee and if you’re paying in USD, it’s $6.00.” -Crystal F.

Entrance Fee:
National Tourist Q.5.00 / Central American tourist Q.15.00 / Foreign Student Q.20.00 / Foreign Tourist Q.40.00
Opening Hours:
Daily 9am – 5pm
Days Closed:
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Santa Clara remains one of Antigua’s most impressive structures. Taking a step back in time, you can almost imagine the austere life of the cloistered nuns. The Poor Clares were an order of nuns that were well known for their strict devotion to prayer and penance, as well as extremely humble living conditions. Even the Church was designed with confessionals that allowed them to enter and leave without being seen.

The two-story convent, which was constructed to house forty-six nuns, was equipped with bedroom cells, kitchen, refectory, workrooms, and infirmary. The buildings were designed using a technique adopted to prevent structural damage, after previous earthquakes. However, this design proved ineffective when the earthquake of 1717 badly damaged both church and convent, displacing the nuns to the town of Comalapa while repairs took place. But, due to limited funding, it would take seventeen years before the new structure would be completed.

In August 1734, the nuns were able to return to Santa Clara and would remain there for 39 years until another earthquake in 1773 destroyed their convent once again. The complex would be officially abandoned, occupied only by squatters, up until 1944, when it would be reclaimed by the state.

Today, the convent stands as a testament to resilience, offering architectural beauty and a tranquil ambiance. Its chapel housing religious art, while well manicured gardens invite reflection.

Please note that many of the entrance fees for landmarks, parks, and museums are subsidized by the government for Guatemalan citizens. You may notice a price difference for foreigners.