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just a few days after our visit of león, we arrived at granada, nicaragua’s second-biggest city. impressions overlap, as bright and bold colors welcome the visitor to a downtown that is buzzing with life one moment before magically falling quiet the next.

granada is one of the oldest towns in central america and is often referred to as its pearl. the colonial town, burnt to the grounds in 1856, has been rebuilt entirely. everything is back: the chessboard grid-like cobblestone streets over which horse carriages are taking their rumbling paths, the merrily colorful houses with their wooden decor, the patios brimming with the joy of flowers and fountains.

granada’s heart is beating at the plaza major where the granadinas and granadinos are going about their daily life in the shadow of lush trees, and where comodores are selling all kinds of small delicacies. one of the mightiest buildings around is the casa de los leones. the wonderful patrician house, once eaten up by termites, is home to the arts foundation casa de los tres mundos. granada, the city of muses, attracts and enables creatives of every coleur, and as night falls, they all revel in the warm light of the fairy lights that grace the square.