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The biggest relief map in Guatemala

The biggest relief map in Guatemala

September 7, 2016
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In Guatemala City you can find the biggest relief map in the country, this map is one of the greatest works of the 20th. century. It was built during the term of President Estrada Cabrera, and it was created by Francisco Vela and Claudio Urrutia. Latter, during Jorge Ubico’s term, the concrete towers as we see them today were built to complete the work.

The biggest relief map in Guatemala

This picturesque work represents the guatemalan territory to detail. From the towers you can see the roads, cities, rivers, lakes, lagoons and volcanoes: everything from one place. The main idea is to appreciate from high above the map, just like an aviator would see it from the skies. This map was open to the public on october 9th, 1905, the construction work took 18 months.

You should read: Things to do on Guatemalan`s independence day


Technically, this engineering work is described by the Guatemala City Hall as follows:

“The construction was done at soil level and in two scales: 1:10,000 on the horizontal extension, and 1:2,000 on the vertical extension, it was built on 1800m2 space”

The highest points are about 2 meters tall and belong to Tajumulco and Acatenango volcanoes.



The materials used to build the map were stone, bricks, Portland concrete, steel, and lead, among others.  The map contains an hydraulic system based on gravity that supplies every river and lake or lagoon with water.

Touristic importance

After it was opened, the map was one of the most emblematic tourist destination, foreigners would come all the way to the city just to visit this architectonic piece.  It was delightful for the visitors to examine the geography of the country and every detail represented on the map.  


The map is located in the north of Guatemala City, at Hipódromo del Norte, in zone 2. You will find it at the end of Simeon Cañas avenue. Here, you will also find a statue of Claudio Urrutia and Francisco Vela, and a small gallery about the project. This place has a lot to show, don’t forget to visit it when you come to Guatemala.


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