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The Tomb of Pedro de Alvarado

Last Resting Place of a Restless Conquistador


In 1541, legendary conquistador Pedro de Alvarado was killed and buried in the town he founded.
The Tomb of Pedro de Alvarado

The Tomb of Pedro de Alvarado

Photo by Christopher Minster
Pedro de Alvarado was unique among conquistadors in that he played a role in the conquest of all three New World native Kingdoms: the Aztec, Inca and Maya. After dominating the Maya, he founded the city of Antigua. When he was killed in 1541, his remains were buried in Antigua's main cathedral. That part of the cathedral was destroyed, but his tomb remains. Still remembered and despised for his great cruelty, Alvarado's remains have never been moved to a place of greater honor than the graveyard of fallen masonry that surrounds him.
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