La Pólvora and Cemetery
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The old fort and powder storage facility is seven blocks west of La Merced. Built in 1748 to secure Granada’s gunpowder supply from marauding pirates, its medieval architecture speaks of simplicity and strength: five squat towers and one heavily guarded gate with two oak doors.
In the 20th century, both the city government and later Somoza’s National Guard used La Pólvora as a military garrison, and later, a jail. These days it’s a museum of arms or art whose exhibitions rotate regularly.
Climb the towers for a breath of wind and a good perspective of the skyline. No entrance fee; watch your head and watch your step.
Adjacent, the 10-meter-high arched stone walls known as Los Muros de Xalteva were erected by the Spaniards in the mid-1700s to separate Spanish settlements from those of the locals. There is a relaxing park across the street with interesting stone shapes.
Located at Granada’s southwest corner, Granada’s cemetery of enormous marble tombs—bigger than the homes of many Nicaraguans—shelters the bones of several centuries of elite from Granada’s heyday, including a half-dozen presidents. Note the column-lined Capilla de Animas and the replica of the Magdalena de Paris, both built between 1876 and 1922.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition