Granada: 5 PM on a Work Day

The streets are lively and colorful at 5:00 on this weekday in Granada. Volcán Mombacho looms in the background.

The streets are lively and colorful at 5:00 on this weekday in Granada. Volcán Mombacho looms in the background.

GRANADA, Nicaragua is known for its colonial architecture, cathedrals, and rich history. The city was officially founded in 1524 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba. It was the first European city in America. It also served as the historical sister capital of Central America with Antigua, Guatemala. It was also the home of William Walker, the American lawyer and adventurer who usurped the power from the natives and established himself as President of the Republic of Nicaragua in 1856. He was overthrown by a coalition of Central American armies in 1857 and subsequently executed in Honduras. One of his generals, Charles Frederick Henningsen, set the city ablaze before escaping, destroying much of the ancient city. However, what was preserved and rebuilt did survive much of the Revolutionary fighting in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. It is widely considered the tourist hub of Nicaragua. Given its tranquility, beautiful colonial homes and surrounding geography, and inexpensive cost of living, there is no doubt as to why it has also become a popular destination for ex-patriates from the United States and Western European countries.