There’s probably a very good reason why so many buildings in Antigua are painted yellow – ‘amarillo’ in Spanish. Or maybe not.
I’ve seen yellow buildings in other Central American cities, but Antigua, one of the oldest in Central America and a UNESCO World Heritage site, seems to have a particular fondness for all things yellow.
Some of the most prominent buildings in the city including the baroque style Iglesia de la Merced, the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales – the former seat of government for the whole of Central America during the Spanish conquest – and the iconic Santa Carolina Arch are all resplendent in yellow, and it’s just as popular among private buildings.
When I ask around, it seems like no one has ever asked such a stupid question before. The looks I receive ranged from pity to an expression that I gather to mean, ‘that’s just the way it is’.
The manager at my guesthouse speculates that it’s typical of the Spanish colonial style, which seems feasible (the cathedral in Granada, Nicaragua, is yellow) but it’s certainly not as extreme in any of the other colonial towns I have visited.
I spent today walking around and taking photos of all the yellow buildings, then got carried away and started snapping anything else that happened to be yellow.