La Iglesia de San Francisco – The Oldest Church in Central America!

A trendy and beautiful destination, mostly for European tourists is a gem in Nicaragua: the city of Granada which sits on the shores of the largest lake of this nation. With it’s breathtaking scenery, quaint streets and colonial architecture you are sure to find something that appeals to those traveling with you. Central to any visit to Granada is La Iglesia de San Francisco – the oldest church in Central America.

mamas travel tips la iglesia san francisco - nicaragua


The wealth of the historic architecture which has as a base the charming cobblestone streets, lead us today we share something for the history buff: the oldest church of this nation and the whole of Central America is located in this city.

Located in the center of the city, La Iglesias de San Francisco was built in 1585. It was burned by pirates and reconstructed in 1856.  The church compound is made of 3 naves and 4 chapels. It stands at a neoclassical design for the exterior while a romantic interior is appreciated leading to a Neogothic altar.mamas travel tips iglesia san francisco altar

Artwork in the church includes a Virgin Mary statue from the XVI century and wooden carvings from the XVII century.

Today this building still operates as a church.  Together with the convent next to it, both are open to the public as part of of a cultural center and as a museum destination.   The museum hosts pre-Columbus zoomorphic statues carved by natives between 800 and 1200 AD, in addition to the religious art  you will enjoy oil paintings by Nicaraguan artists of the Naif School of Solentiname style.mamas travel tips islgesia san fransisco nave

If you plan to visit, keep in mind the schedule:

  • 8:30 to 17:30 Monday to Friday and on weekends from 9:00 to 16:00.
  • Admission is $2 for foreigners, 12 C$ for nationals and 5 C$ for children. The guides speak Spanish and English.

Have you visited La Iglesia de San Francisco in Granada? Tell us what you think of it.  We would love to see your photos!


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