Plaza de Espana
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Exploring Old Hagatna
Downtown Hagatna is one of the few places where you can view relics from Guam’s almost 400-year history as a Spanish colony. The first stop on a tour of downtown is Plaza de Espana, which housed a sprawling Governor’s Palace during the colonial era. Today, only the handful of structures remain, including a covered Azotea, Garden House, and Chocolate House, where governors used to entertain guests. Next, stop in at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, the religious hub for Guam’s predominantly Catholic population. The original church was constructed in 1669 under the leadership of Padre San Vitores, a Spanish missionary who is credited with spreading Catholicism in the Marianas Islands. The current structure is more recent, dating back to 1959. Finally, head across the street to Senator Angel Leon Guerrero Santos Memorial Park, better known as Latte Stone Park. The park contains eight examples of traditional latte stones, stone pillars that are said to have been used by the ancient Chamorros for building. Today, the latte is an important symbol of Chamorro identity, and this park is one of the few places where you can view them.
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