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The Heart of the City

Plaza de España has served as the center of cultural, religious and government activity in Guam for centuries. Historic sites here include the Azotea, the last remaining structural element of the Governor’s Palace; the Almacen Arches, the signature triple arches that were the entrance of the royal warehouse built in 1736; and the Chocolate House, a round building used by both the Spanish and American administrations. The four-kilometer Hagatna Heritage Walking Trail winds through the village and connects 17 historical sites. One of the most prominent is Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, the center of Guam’s Catholic community on land donated in 1669 by a Chamorro chief. Farther along the trail is Fort Santa Agueda, which was built from 1794 to 1802. See San Antonio Bridge (also known as Tollai Acho or Spanish Bridge), which was built in 1800 and is watched over by a bronze statue of La Sirena, a legendary mermaid.


Go Back in Time

Visitors who want to learn about the indigenous people of Guam should head to the Governor’s House, where a museum features Chamorro antiquities. Continue to Angel Santos Memorial Park to see eight mushroom-shaped latte stones used as foundations by the ancient Chamorros to support wood and thatch homes from 800 to 1700 A.D. On the waterfront, the Latte of Freedom monument resembles a latte stone, but it’s a modern observation tower overlooking Agana Bay. World War II buffs will want to stop in the Pacific War Museum or the War in the Pacific National Historical Park. Venture to Chief Quipuha Park on Paseo de Susana, a peninsula just north of the city center. This post-World War II park remembers Guam’s first Catholic chief.


Present-Day Pursuits

Enjoy modern-day island culture at Chamorro Village, open every day but best known for its Wednesday Night Market, which features local and international cuisine, arts and crafts, and novelty gifts. Shoppers also love browsing for duty-free items in over 100 stores at Agana Shopping Center. There’s not much nightlife in Hagatna, but there are waterfront restaurants where you can nosh on Chamorro, Filipino and American food.

Fun Fact

A young child poses at Latte Stone Park
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You can experience a different kind of “latte” in Hagatna. Find these huge pillars, or latte stones, at Latte Stone Park. They were used as building supports by the ancient Chamorro people.

Guam's Statue of Liberty in Hagatna
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Hagatna has its very own Statue of Liberty, erected in 1950 by the Boy Scouts of America in honor of the organization’s 40th anniversary.

The Plaza de Espana, a reminder of the city’s Spanish past
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Claimed by the Spanish in 1686, Hagatna was considered the first European city in the Pacific.

Photo: Guam Visitors Bureau