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Restoration of monuments and buildings in Granada

Roger Solórzano Canales | Jul 5, 2011

Mario Salinas (INTUR), Jose Manuel Mariscal (AECID) and the municipal governor Eulogio Mejía.

Several active sites or buildings with tourism potential will be restored in different areas of the historical center.

Several buildings, monuments and sites of great interest - located in the colonial city of Granada - will be restored and refurbished starting on late August, according to the authorities of its municipal government and the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute (INTUR). The announcement was made yesterday, July 4th, during a press conference that was held in Managua. The projects will be implemented with the financial support of the Spanish cooperation agency, which will give a fund of 1 million 570 thousand dollars.

There are five individual projects divided in two poles of the historical center of the city. The first three are located on the East side: finishing La Calzada street, the improvement of the city waterfront and the reconstruction of piers located near the Granada islets. The other two are located on the West area: the restoration of La Polvora Fortress and the San Juan de Dios Hospital. Upon completion, authorities expect to have more visitors, activities and new tourism businesses in those areas.

Mario Salinas, executive president of INTUR, stated during the conference that the tourism growth that Nicaragua is experimenting demands a greater effort from its inhabitants, specially to improve and preserve the national heritage. In addition, José Manuel Mariscal, general coordinator of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), explained that this contribution is part of the support that his government has been given to Nicaragua for 20 years.

East side projects

"Our ultimate goal was that La Calzada street could end at the lake. Now we are going to accomplish that." said enthusiastically Eulogio Majeía, governor of Granada. The project of La Calzada will include the prolongation of its redesign, which starts at the Guadalupe church (this is where the first phase of the restoration ended) and ends at the port, on the coastline of Lake Cocibolca. The work will continue with the same structural and decorative model as the one used for the first phase and will have a budget of $740,000 dollars.

The second project is related to the one mentioned on the previous paragraph due to its geographical link. A budget of $90,000 will be given for it and will comprise improvements in the Parque Azul, located at the entrance of the port, and the reconstruction of the old waterfront, which goes parallel to the coastline until reaching the entrance of the Tourist Center of Granada. Benches, sidewalks and kiosks selling crafts and traditional food will be part of the new ambiance of this area.

The third project will also be executed with a budget of $90,000 and will be held inside the Tourist Center of Granada, specifically within the neighboring area of the Asese Peninsula. There will be improvements on the piers from where the boats usually leave. This will be held to provide appropriate facilities for tourists.

The West side projects

The restoration of the two buildings located on the West side of the historical center, which is less visited, seeks to increase the tourist dynamics in that part of the city. A space for a lively cultural ambiance will be guaranteed by the local government and INTUR.

La Polvora Fortress, a colonial military building that has been restored previously, will have a structural revision and improvements that will allow it to gain the importance that it deserves, explain the municipal major. The budget for this building will be $25,000 dollars. Furthermore, the idea of promoting the site as a tourist destination will be discussed by a multidisciplinary commission, stated the president of INTUR.

The San Juan de Dios Hospital, on the other hand, will become a dynamic cultural center with permanent scenic night lighting on its facade. For the past three decades, this antique building had been deteriorating rapidly due to the lack of maintenance that had to be guaranteed by the local government. In addition, the site was completely abandoned because of a property dispute, according to what the governor explained.

Nowadays, the hospital has security guards and permanent cleaning staff. The renovation process will first restore one of the main salons, which will be converted into a large space for shows. A series of gates, similar to the original ones, will be placed in order to be a part of the building facade. In addition, all the gardens and the vehicle entrance will be restored.

Despite the fact authorities did not provide a specific date for the beginning of the work, they mentioned it would start after the religious festivities of Granada (mid August). However, both institutions have began to coordinate actions with electricity, water and phone companies that will be involved during the project.

Translated by Cinthia Membreño.