The Palacio de la Cultura on the Parque Central of Managua stands beside the Catedral Vieja (the old Cathedral of Managua) and across from the Palacio Presidencial. The museum is in the old center of Managua near shore of Lake Managua. It is open to the public from 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. during the week and on the weekends from 9:00 – 4:00 p.m. Entrance fee for a guided tour to the Museum is just over a couple of dollars at the time of writing. The Palacio de la Cultura is well worth the time and a visit when in Managua.
During the earthquake of 1931 in Managua, the Palacio de la Cultura suffered much damage. It was re-constructed in 1935 by Swiss engineer Paul Dambach of Society Gautier RC Ltd. It is a beautiful neoclassical architectural structure which was once known as the Palacio de los Héroes de la Revolution. Originally called the National Palace (Palacio Nacional), it housed various government offices and politicians.
The Museo Nacional de Nicaragua, the Archivo Nacional (National Archives, and the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) are found today within the walls of the Palacio de la Cultura. The earthquake of Managua in 1972 also damaged the building and one can still see evidence of the cracks caused by this earthquake in some of the columns inside the building.
On a brief tour of the Palacio de la Cultura, you will have the opportunity to see the art collection consisting of murals and paintings by various artists including works by Arnold Belkin. Belkin was born in Canada and moved to Mexico becoming well known internationally and throughout Latin America for his mural art featuring futuristic, political and mythological themes. There is also a painting of Nicaraguan hero Ruben Dario (the Nicaraguan poet) and a photographic collection illustrating the life of General Augusto C. Sandino, hero of the Nicaraguan revolution.
Definitely do not miss visiting the Palacio de la Cultura when you visit Managua. A tour of the Museum of Culture will broaden one’s understanding of Nicaraguan history and culture. The building itself is architecturally magnificent, has a lovely garden within and a good art collection. The tour guide is highly knowledgeable of Nicaraguan history and art adding substance to the tour of the Palacio de la Cultura.