Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Renovation is Possible...

This vintage stucture is a piece of work that dates back to the early 1600s. I would like to say that I spent hours compiling the vast historical detail that I am about to share, but that would be a lie. This information is a paraphrase from a local historians book written by a woman named Elizabeth Bell.

As the story goes, this facility was established with the name of "Colegio de la Compañia de Jesús" when two Jesuit priest came to the city Santiago (the former name of present day La Antigua). This first Cathedral for this religious order was dedicated in 1626.

At its highpoint this one one of the most impressive religous structures in Santiago. At one time this complex covered an entire city block. It included a church, monastery, school and a house for spiritual exercises. As well it included cloisters, libraries, classrooms, assembly rooms, kitchens and a variety of other spaces. The school awarded a variety of degrees.

In 1767, there was an anti-Jesuit movement that rooted in Spain and all Jesuits were ordered to leave the boundaries of the Spanish crown. The building remained empty for the next 100 years or so until it eventually housed a textile factory. In 1912 the property became the location for the market of Antigua. It suffered heavy damage in the earthquake of 1976.

In the late 80's and early 90's renovation began. The property is on loan to the 'Cooperación Técnica Española'. They have been the movers and shakers in the amazing renovation of this very old building. At present, this building is used once again as a educational facility for corporate and private training.

Given time I suppose any restoration is possible.

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