Comayagua, the Lovely Colonial Capital of Honduras.
Captain Alonso de Caceres founded Comayagua in 1537. He was following instructions of Conqueror Francisco de Montejo. The location of the city was to be halfway between the Caribbean and the Pacific. The city grew after it became the capital of the province of Honduras. It was the seat of colonial government in the province. It became the capital of Honduras after Spain granted its independence to the colony.
Comayagua continued being the capital of Honduras until 1880. President Marco Aurelio Soto transferred the capital to Tegucigalpa in that year. This unfortunate event had a disastrous effect on the growth of the city. The local economy stalled, and the city fell into a lethargic stance that took years to break. This situation, had a positive effect. Most of the important colonial and early republican buildings are still standing. Thus the colonial heritage of Comayagua has survived to this day!
Over the last two decades, Mayor Carlos Miranda has managed Comayagua. Mayor Miranda has had a tremendous leadership and vision. He has transformed Comayagua and made of it a pleasant tourism destination. He has done this my renovating the city. Working next to the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History. Colonial monuments, such as churches and parks have been restored. He has issued City ordinances to protect the historical center of the city. Thus, you will not see offensive neon lights on the streets downtown.
Streets have been paved with bricks, and electric cables are now underground. Cultural centers have flourished, promoting centuries old traditions. Downtown has become a chic area where bars and restaurants have opened their doors. There are also some nice shops and souvenirs stores. Small boutique hotels have also opened in old homes and buildings around downtown Comayagua.
Despite being a small city, Comayagua boasts several museums. Plans are that more will soon be opening their doors. The Central Park and nearby Plazas are now full of life. All these streets and plazas are well lit and with regular police presence. In short, Comayagua is a safe city. You can walk around the downtown area of Comayagua without any fear. It is one of the safest cities in Central America.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the people from Comayagua is their pride. They are proud of their city, and it shows. They keep it clean, they keep it safe, and they love to show it to their guests and visitors.
You can visit Comayagua for the day from Tegucigalpa, and even San Pedro Sula. But I recommend spending the night in town. Come and enjoy the friendly hospitality, taste the food at the local restaurants. Learn about Honduran history and visit the local museums.
The Oldest Clock in the Americas is in Comayagua!
Of the most interesting historical facts about Comayagua is the old clock. It is at the Cathedrals belfry facing Central Park. The clock dates back the XIIth century, and is a gift to the city by King Philip III of Spain. The Clock was once in the city of Granada, Spain, where the moors installed it in the XIIth Century. This interesting machinery got to Comayagua in 1636. It was put in the old cathedral. This building is now the Iglesia de la Merced, the Church of Mercy. Construction on the Cathedral ended in 1711. The clock was then moved to its current location, where it has been working ever since. This is the oldest Working Clock in the Americas!
You can see it giving the right time of the day from the Central Plaza. If you would like to see it, you can pay the entrance at the Cathedral and go up the belfry. Don’t expect complex machinery, this is twelfth century technology! If you want a guide to take you around the city, stop by the Casa de la Cultura Comayaguense. It is just across the street from the Cathedral. They will help you get a guide to take you around town. The cost of the guide is under $20 US per group of 1 to 10 persons. He will spend between 2 and 3 hours with you.