Iglesia de la Merced
Anyone can enjoy a stroll through La Merced church, but the best reason to go is to climb the church's lone bell tower for commanding views of the city center. You'll be able to explore the church itself for free, but there is a small admission charge to climb up into the tower. Note that you may need to find a caretaker to gain access to the tower stairs, and those who are claustrophobic should be aware that it's a narrow spiral staircase to the top. Guided walking tours of Granada usually include a stop at Iglesia de la Merced.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The clock tower is accessible by a steep staircase, but visitors say it’s worth the climb.
- The bell in the tower is rung by hand every hour; posted signs ask visitors not to ring the bell.
- This is an active church that holds mass regularly including Sunday mornings and evenings; it may close during services.
How to Get There
Iglesia de la Merced is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Calle Real and Avenida 14 de September, and is a short walk from Central Park. It’s about a 15-minute walk to Guadalupe Church. Taxis are readily available in Granada, while horse-drawn carriages (coches) within the city limits provide a traditional way to explore.
When to Get There
Keep in mind that the clock tower closes at 5:30pm but the church is usually open until 6pm. Depending on when you’re traveling, try to plan a visit to the top of the tower at sunset to see the changing colors of the sky. Overall, the best time to visit Nicaragua is from December to April, which is the country’s dry season.
Granada Cathedral The Granada Cathedral, which is visible from Iglesia de la Merced’s bell tower, stands out, in part because of its vibrant yellow facade, but also because of its historical significance. Inside the popular attraction are flowing arches, frescoed ceilings, and stained-glass windows. Guided city tours generally pass by the cathedral.
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