Dominating the city skyline of pastel-colored houses, Nicaragua’s Granada Cathedral sits on the eastern side of the main plaza, Parque Colón, in a vision of red domes and lemon yellow walls with Mombacho Volcano rising behind it.
The cathedral was originally built in 1583, and is one of Granada’s most famous buildings. However, in 1856, the crazed American filibuster William Walker decided that if he couldn’t have Granada for himself, no-one could have it, and so, tragically, he burned both cathedral and city to the ground.
By order of priest Silvestre Alvarez, rebuilding of the cathedral began in 1880. The design was overseen by Italian Andrés Zappata, who modeled the cupola on the Vatican’s Basilica.
However, lack of funds meant that it wasn’t until 1905 that the new cathedral was completed. Head inside the cathedral today to see its flowing arches and light streaming in through the stained glass windows. Just across from the cathedral on the corner of Calle La Calzada, look out too for the Bishop’s Residence, which is in a beautiful red mansion. Outside in the central plaza, there’s often live music and festivals to enjoy as well.
Taking up the east side of Parque Central, Nicaragua’s Granada Cathedral is hard to miss. Entrance is free.