Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes

Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes, Granada (Nicaragua)

The Catholic church La Merced is one of the most iconic buildings of Granada, Nicaragua. That is mostly because of the centuries old Baroque-style facade of the building, it is an important cultural heritage of the city. La Merced (or Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes) was built in 1534 and razed by pirates in 1655. In 1781 the tower was added in a different architectural style; it was destroyed during the Nicaraguan civil war in 1854.

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No hay trenes a Granada

Antigua Estación del Ferrocarril, Granada (Nicaragua)

The state railway of Nicaragua (Ferrocarril de Nicaragua, FCN) existed between 1877 and 1996. The main track was from Corinto at the Pacific ocean to Granada at the Lago Cocibolca. From there, goods could be shipped via the Suan Juan river to the Atlantic ocean – a coast to coast connection. But there were also tracks to León, Masaya, Chinandega and San Juan del Sur. In 2001 also the last private railway closed down and there are no trains running through Nicaragua anymore.

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Córdoba Oro and USD

Dinero en efectivo, El Guayabo

A trip to Nicaragua means that you’ll have different currencies in your pocket. Official one is the Córdoba Oro (NIO), divided into 100 Centavos. It was introduced in 1912 and replaced the formerly used Peso. It is named after Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, the founder of the country. Due to inflation the currency had to be re-issued in 1988 and 1990. As often in Latin America, there is a secondary currency that is widely accepted. In Nicaragua this is the US-Dollar (USD) that you can withdraw at ATMs next to Córdobas and which you can use nearly everywhere.

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La Niña de los Gansos

La niña de los gansos (Gänseliesel), Selva Negra Ecolodge, Matagalpa

The Gänseliesel is the icon of my hometown, Göttingen (Germany). It is located at the central market place in front of the old town hall and was placed there in 1901. The statue plays an important role in celebrations, especially when somebody receives a PhD from the local university: he then has to bring her flowers and kiss her. What only few people know is, that the Gänseliesel has a doppelgänger at Nicaragua.

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Selva negra

Selva Negra Ecolodge, Matagalpa

The Selva Negra Ecolodge is located close to Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Its name sounds well-known for a Germany if you translate it: selva negra means black forest or Schwarzwald. In the 19th century immigrants from Germany created a coffee plantation there and gave it a name from their former home. Today their descendants still own this place and run a wonderful business: sustainable farming and eco-tourism.

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Reserva Natural Miraflor, Estelí

The Área Protegida Miraflor northeast of Estelí, Nicaragua, is on the one hand a nature protection zone with beautiful forests and on the other hand an area of rural farming. Not too many tourists find their way on the non-paved roads to this special area of the country. Temperatures are different to those in the lower regions, infrastructure is less good – but therefore you can experience the rural life and try the products produced here.

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Ojos lindos

Finca Lindos Ojos, La Cebollal

The Finca Lindos Ojos is located at the Miraflor Natural Reserve northeast of Estelí, Nicaragua. That is up in the mountains with sometimes rather cold temperatures, but also with beautiful forests and amazing nature. Nearest village is La Cebollal and in this area different fincas exist that welcome tourists. Lindos Ojos is special, as the three houses have been built in the style of northern Germany. It is not only the horseheads on the roof and the style of half-timbered houses, also inside you’ll see pictures of different regions in Germany. Why is that?

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Tortugas and Art

Centro de Arte Fundación Ortiz Gurdian, Léon (Nicaragua)

Not far away from the central square of León, Nicaragua, you can discover a rather unexpected pleasure, the Centro de Arte Fundación Ortiz Gurdián. Next to the San Francisco church you can enter a large and well-maintained art museum. It is a private museum financed by two private entrepreneurs and art collectors. Inaugurated in the year 2000 it is today often seen as the best museum for contemporary art in Central America.

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Museo de la Revolucion, Léon (Nicaragua)

Nicaragua is a country that isn’t on screen in Europe and that young people here don’t know much about. That was totally different in 1979 when the Nicaraguan revolution succeeded and dictator Somoza had to leave the country. In the following years Nicaragua became a left-wing utopia, many people were dreaming of a better life in a Latin American socialist paradise. From all over the world volunteers came to Nicaragua to help rebuilt the country.

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White cathedral

Real e Insigne Basílica de la Asunción de la Bienaventurada Virgen María, Léon (Nicaragua)

At the central square of León, Nicaragua, you’ll find the Real e Insigne Basílica de la Asunción de la Bienaventurada Virgen María – the Baroque style cathedral completely painted in white to protect against the sun. It was finished in the year 1860 and is today a UNESCO world heritage site. The cathedral is beautifully decorated outside and inside; it contains an impressive large Way of the Cross and is the burial place for several important poets, including the famous Rubén Darío.

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