Exactly what is a colonial home in Granada?

Good question and many people have different opinions on the exact definition. First a little history since “colonial” refers to the years when Nicaragua was a colony of Spain along with most of Central America and South America. Nicaragua was historically the sister capital in Central America to Antigua, Guatemala. During the colonial period, Granada maintained a flourishing level of commerce with ports on the Atlantic Ocean, through Lake Nicaragua (a.k.a. Cocibolca) and the San Juan River. Granada and Leon are the two colonial cities of Nicaragua though you can find some colonial homes almost anywhere in Nicaragua.

A colonial home usually has a large enclosed room in the front called a sala. Passing through the sala you come to the living area which is outside but under a roof. The kitchen may be here or in the very back of the property. During colonial times maids and cooks prepared the meals so there was no reason to place the kitchen where the woman of the house had easy access. Plus it kept the smoke at the rear of the home. The living area would wrap around a large patio with columns supporting the roof and a full true colonial wrapped around the four sides or corridors. Another patio would be further back.

Restored colonial homes usually have a fountain in the front patio and a pool in the rear patio. In fact, in the historical section of Granada, the front patio must be natural and the pool in the rear. In this manner, pedestrians could look through the grand doors and see the trees and plants of the front patio. The doors of colonials are usually tall, massive and a double door. Having more doors adds prestige to a colonial and being on a corner also increases the value.

During colonial times, there were no vehicles so garages are a recent development but frequently there would be a zaguan where the servants would enter along with the vendors of fruits, vegetables and other sundries.