Convento y Museo San Francisco

sights / Religious

Convento y Museo San Francisco information

Granada , Nicaragua
Costado Norte de Plaza de Leones, 1c E
+505 2552 5535
Opening hours
8am-4pm Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm Sat & Sun
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One of the oldest churches in Central America and the most striking building in Granada, Iglesia San Francisco boasts a robin's egg-blue birthday-cake facade and houses both an important convent and one of the best museums in the region. Originally constructed in 1585, it was subsequently burned to the ground by pirates and later William Walker, rebuilt in 1868 and restored in 1989.

The museum is through the small door on the left, where guides (some of whom speak English) are available for tours; tips are appreciated. Museum highlights include top-notch Primitivist art, a scale model of the city and a group of papier-mâché indigenous people cooking, relaxing in hammocks and swinging on comelazatoaztegams, a sort of 360-degree see-saw.

Also here: the Zapatera statuary, two solemn regiments of black-basalt statues looming above large men and possessed of 10 times their gravity, carved between AD 800 and 1200, then left behind on the ritual island of Zapatera. Most were discovered in the late 1880s and gathered in Granada in the 1920s.