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Granada’s Colonial Downtown

The charming historical colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua has remained as one of the most precious jewels of Spanish heritage in the Western Hemisphere. It was strategically founded by the Great Lake of Nicaragua by Captain Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba in 1524.

During the XVII and XVIII centuries the city of Granada witnessed the arrival of ransacking pirates who destroyed the city in a frenzy intending to steal its wealth. In the middle of the XIX century the historical center of the city was set on fire by the filibustering activities of William Walker. The city was rebuilt in the coming years, preserving the layout of the original Spanish foundation.

Today the colonial city of Granada has remarkably caught the attention of those people looking for culture and history. Granada’s splendid preserved colonial, baroque and neoclassical architecture is outstanding and many significant adobe buildings such as the Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, the old train station, City hall and the San Juan de Dios Hospital evoke the past of a flourishing era. In addition the former San Francisco monastery encloses one of the largest pre-Hispanic totem collections in Central America. Fortresses such as “La Polvora” and “San Pablo” are also evidence of a colonial era plagued with struggles for power. “La Merced” church’s bell tower, once swept away by Leon military forces in 1854, is definitely the city’s best lookout over the red tiled roof and interior courtyards with tropical gardens. While in Granada taking a traditional horse-drawn carriage’ trip through the city, the visitor will have the opportunity to admire the elegance of the colonial facades and the numerous scattered monuments.

Every year the city of Granada is also the meeting destination for hundreds of renowned local and international poets who gather at the cultural center, “Casa de los Tres Mundos” to take part in the “International Poetry Festival”, converting the city for a whole week into the most important cultural city of Central America. At the same time Granada has a wide umbrella of several celebrations such as religious festivities, horse parades, handicraft fairs, the country’s independence celebrations, and others. In Granada you can also feel and enjoy the hot tropical rhythm of the Latin-American music in several local pubs.

Colonial History • Religious Events • Poetry and Literature

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