La Plazuela de los Leones
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The pedestrian space guarded by the cannon off the northeast corner of Granada’s main plaza is where Henry Morgan once set 18 cannons during his sacking of the city, and where, a century later, William Walker was sworn in as President of Nicaragua.
On the Plazuela’s eastern side is the Casa de los Leones, a colonial era home whose lush interior has been transformed into an international cultural center. Don Diego de Montiel, governor of Costa Rica, built the Casa de los Leones in 1720. William Walker did not miss the opportunity to burn this place down, leaving nothing standing but the portal bearing the Montiel family crest (still visible). The unique, neoclassical colonnade facade was a product of the subsequent reconstruction.
In 1987, the historical monument became the headquarters of the Casa de los Tres Mundos Foundation (tel. 505/2552-4176, www.c3mundos.org, open 8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily), bearing an art and music school, museum, historical archive, library, concert hall, literary café, bookstore, and exhibition space which hosts resident artists from around the world.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition