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Granada’s Colonial Houses

February 25, 2012

Colonial houses here in Granada are unique. In my experience there is nothing like this in the US.  From the street you can tell nothing about what is inside. The only thing you see is the gate and door which are usually unremarkable. Once you go inside it is a whole other world.

The colonial home is built around an open courtyard. The home is often a rectangle with rooms on all four sides and a courtyard/garden/pool in the center. Generally the rooms, except bedrooms, and the front sala or sitting area are open to the courtyard.  The weather here is mild or hot all year around so this works. There is a big overhang from the tile roof so the rain does not come in. The rain has to be kept off the thick adobe walls as it will damage them. Think of taking your lot and putting the yard in the middle and spreading the house around it in a square or rectangle.

I went into an original colonial home in the central area and was astounded at how large it was.  It originally occupied the depth of the entire block and was 165 feet wide.  It is in need of renovation but is definitely habitable.  The view of the city and Mombacho Volcano was stunning. There are so many rooms it could easily be a hotel or hostel and many of them are now.  They have beautiful, lush gardens often with running water or fountains, trees, plants, stone walkways.  The house I was in when I first arrived and where I will live after April 1 when I leave my little apartment is considered 6000 square feet.  In Granada they take the whole lot including the house and garden into the square footage.

The photo of the blue wall is of the original colonial, the door is on the left.  The other photo is of my apartment, the door is the rectangle in the middle. The right arched door is to the main house which is huge and gorgeous. It is on the house tours here in Granada as it is so beautiful.  You really cannot tell from the street!!

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