La Merced and volcano Fuego
photos by Lois and Don Porter

On Wednesday, January 8th, we visited La Merced church and monastery, 150 yards north of our apartment. The church was built 1749-1767, with heavy buttressing and generally low, earthquake-savvy design, after earlier churches on the site were damaged by various quakes. Nevertheless, later quakes did some damage, but the church has been restored and is in fine condition. The ornate facade (stucco design called ataurique) is spectacular. In 1997 it was repainted in the correct colonial color using lime-based yellow paint. Some criticized the result as too much like a birthday cake. On the north side of the church is the ruins of the monastery. The fountain in the center of the cloister is huge and magnificent. The stone cross in front of the church bears two dates: 1688 and 1765. When we reached the upper level of the cloister, we turned toward the church and saw the volcano Fuego emitting clouds of black and white smoke and ash. We couldn't resist the juxtaposition of the architecture with the volcanic display. With a wide angle, it was possible to include both volcanoes: Agua (inactive, on the left in the photo, toward the south) and Fuego (erupting, on the right in the photo, to the southwest).

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01-facade 02-bishop 03-altar 04-cristo
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05-santamaria 06-fountain-Don 07-fountain-closeup 08-fountain-Lois
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09-cloisters 10-Lois-church-fuego 11-fuego-Don 12-fuego-fountain
09-cloisters.jpg         10-Lois-church-fuego.jpg         11-fuego-Don.jpg         12-fuego-fountain.jpg        


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