Granada is considered one of the oldest colonial cities in Latin America and one of the best preserved. It was coveted loot by European pirates who looted and burned it and in colonial times, it was the pride of the Spanish Crown in the Americas. Its main attraction is the Colonial, Neoclassical and Baroque Architecture visible in houses, streets, squares, monuments and churches. Granada is also known as the Great Sultana for being at the foot of the Mombacho Volcano, formerly nicknamed the Great Sultan, and listed by UNESCO as a Historical and Cultural Heritage of Nicaragua on June 2, 1995.
Traces of its history are palpable in its old churches and architectural details. These temples served as barracks and fortresses in times past and were burned and rebuilt over several centuries. Examples are La Catedral, Xalteva, La Iglesia de Guadalupe and the Antiguo Convento San Francisco, which now houses the most important museum in the city with a permanent exhibition of pre-Columbian statues and representations of their traditions and culture.
In this city that was the capital of Nicaragua for some time, travelers should try the famous Vigorón from Granada, accompanied by the chingue de cacao or fresco de grama, the guapote en pinol de las isletas, the curvasa and other typical sweets.
Its construction began in 1882 and ended in 1886. The building differs from the rest of the stations in the country for its architectural design, and the harmony of its arches and lines. The building represents an important landmark within the city. On March 1, 1886, the railway arrived at the station for the first time.
The historic railway station is made up of the old station building, its surroundings, the Sandino Park, and its community streets. It marked for many years the city limits, until the 1960s. Inside the building there is the Presidential Wagon called Momotombo and some property and material relics that have remained in the Managua station with the aim of safeguarding an important part of the country’s historical heritage.
Plaza de la Independencia
The Plaza is the focus point from which the two main axes of the city start: la Calle Real and la Calle La Calzada which takes you to the vicinity of Lake Nicaragua. Arisen after the explosion of the Main Barracks, it disappeared on September 26, 1894. During the First Centennial of the Independence of Central America in 1921, an obelisk was placed on a masonry pedestal that commemorates that date. In this monument the names of the Granada heroes of that process are engraved, among them Juan Arguello, Manuel Antonio de la Cerda. Its urban environment is defined mainly by the Cathedral, the Episcopal Palace and the Colón Park, followed by a series of neoclassical and eclectic constructions. On the south side of the Plaza is the Cruz del Siglo.
It is located to the southeast at the corner of Calle La Calzada and Plaza de la Independencia and to the north on Calle de La Libertad. Its arcades of North American colonial influence stretch across a row of similarly styled homes towards the North and contrasts with the Spanish colonial style of the houses located West of the Plazoleta de los Leones.
It was built in 1913 under the patronage of the Cardenal family and donated it to the Bishop of the city in 1920 to become his residence. The palacio has gardens on its porch which is another element that distinguishes it from neighboring buildings.
The main characteristic element of the property is the presence of the arches that extend around the entire perimeter of the façade.
The Granada cemetery dates from 1830 and is one of the largest and renowned in all of Central America. It is located between Las Camelias street and the road to Nandaime.
Famous for its beautiful sculptures and for the illustrious figures that rest there, it stands out above all for being the resting place of more than 10 former presidents and heads of state, as well as great figures of the political and cultural life of Nicaragua and of the same city of Granada.
This Cemetery was declared Historical and Artistic Patrimony of the Nation by the National Assembly on October 30, 2012.
Chapel de Ánimas
The Capilla de las Ánimas is located in the Granada Cemetery between Las Camelias street and the road to Nandaime. In 1878, the North American Teodoro E. Hooke began a campaign to provide the Granada cemetery with a chapel. In 1885 the walls were raised, only missing the roof. It was built under the direction of the Master of Work, Carlos Ferrey.
The Local Board of Charity auctioned its works, concluding in 1922. Its architecture is neoclassical in style. Its main facade is framed by four fluted columns of Ionic order on a raised atrium and is crowned by a wide pediment, which presents moldings and decorations.
Antigua Fortaleza La Pólvora
This fort is located in front of the Arroyo de la Aduana and the Callejón La Pólvora. Its landmark qualification corresponds not only to its importance as a reference point but also to its privileged location. There are two well-defined styles: A distinctly colonial architecture that can be seen in the construction of the Casa de la Pólvora and the style corresponding to that of the fortress.
In 1748, the Military Engineer Luis Díez de Navarro, assessed the need to delineate a fortress in Granada. The main problems in the fort’s facilities were due to the minimal possibility of preserving the gunpowder, due to the humidity. The city lacked the appropriate facilities to store this essential material for the defense of the city. Thus, the construction of the Gunpowder Warehouse House, the official name of this fort, was ordered to be carried out. Its function was to supply ammunition to the Castillo La Inmaculada in Río San Juan, the main bastion of the province.
While visiting Granada you may want to cruise the Granada isletas, 365 mini-islands. Kayaks and boats await ready to take travelers to their next Nicaraguan destination.
Soledad Quartucci | Executive Director
Dr. Soledad Quartucci is the founder and CEO of Latina Republic, a 501(C)3 California-based nonprofit organization. Latina Republic is a reporting, research, advocacy and charitable organization advancing human rights in the Americas. We fill the void in coverage of urgent social, political, human rights, economic and gender inequalities affecting the Americas. Through our allies in Latin America, we highlight contributions, heritage, history, leadership and innovation. Latina Republic reports on stories that integrate local strategies to the betterment of the region. We make space for and empower unheard voices and celebrate the rich histories of Latin America.