Ever heard of the National Museum of Nicaragua? This preserver of forgotten artifacts, statues, ceramics and valuable documents- the very reminders of ancient life, is one of the major tourist attractions in Nicaragua. When I perused through my historic books, I discovered that the museum is located in an historic building known as Managua. Forthrightly, it is in this museum that one can get a chance to learn about the history of Nicaragua even before getting to know about its modern times. The museum is also known as Dioclesiano ChÁvez, home to several ceramics that can be backdated to 3,000 years. I learnt that one can get evidences of ancient civilization by just looking into its extensive collection of ancient artifacts. As one explores the various rooms of exhibits of the museum, be sure that you take notes of the modern art. At the natural Historic room, one is taken through the Nicaragua’s history of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. These exhibits give an insight of the active volcanoes that are in existence till today. Even with their destructive nature, the Nicaragua volcanoes are the main tourist attraction and contribute a lot to the country’s economy and the tourism industry. Without doubt, the National Museum of Nicaragua is a wonderful historic site that gives visitors a breathtaking glimpse into the old world.
I come from Honduras, Central South America. The journey to Nicaragua was long and tedious, taking five tiresome hours in a rattling train to cover the more than 148 miles of mountainous terrain from Tegucigalpa in the North to Managua in the south. Anyway, I took a rest on my way and therefore, I cannot complain. Well, the capital city of Nicaragua is not known for its beauty but, it is the best place to stay for two days. For those who are not familiar with this capital city, it is a congested place and somehow hot, so I took a taxi that I intended to use whenever I went. My first stop was at a place called Loma de Tiscapa that is situated at the interior centre of the town. Here, my driver advised me that I should take my time and take a good view of Lake Managua. I realized that the lake had a very beautiful volcanic crater lagoon. How I wish I could have been accompanied by my long time girlfriend! She could love this. I had a sleepover at a nearby restaurant and, the following day embarked on the rest of my journey.
The museum opened at around 8.00 am and I was among the first people to enter. I paid an entrance fee of $50, which later leant included an informative price, which roughly takes two hours. At the national museum was an administration body located within the same building. Most significantly, they provided me with tour guides who showed me around the museum. In the museum, my first stop over was at the natural history room. This is a paleontology room with a pre-history fossil remains well displayed. I had a number of questions but the guides were friendly and more than willing to answer questions regarding the artifacts. The guide then took me to a Room containing Pre-Columbian Ceramics; this room was even more interesting as it contained a variety of ceramics designed with different cultures. Notably, I learnt that the pieces were dated back to the 2000 A.C or better still, the beginning of the 17th century, a period at which the Spanish conquers started arriving in Nicaragua. At this site I was exposed to various samples that showed various techniques with varied collection of pieces. I was more interested on the various shapes of containers, utensils, rings as well as the utensils. I then passed through the traditional art room that was made up of a small but diverse exposition of contemporary, and traditional which I was reliably informed was created from different regions of Nicaragua. The pieces were more elaborated by the artisans and, were made of clay, ropes, seeds, and ceramics among other materials.
Then there were the metates; stone instruments which are used by various indigenous tribes when processing corn. I found these in a very interesting room known as the metates room. I established that the whole room was dedicated to artifacts and that the corns had a cultural importance attached to the tribes that long lived in Nicaragua. There were different displays of metates on which their usage were well demonstrated by different panels. I keenly observed the different designs and the figures of different animals which were of course well curved in objects. You might wonder how these metares are formed. Well, I was informed that they are created from volcanic rocks. My guide also informed me that they were formed in between 800 and 1200 years. Satisfied from his explanations, I had no alternative but to move into the next room meant for friends and general supports of art and culture. Well, it is a space meant for temporal expositions and is supported by different institutions, museums, or individuals. Interestingly, these entities are always willing to lend their collections for exhibitions. This of course lasts for two to three months. My guide reliably informed me that on different occasions, this museum investigates various themes and on other occasions borrows pieces which enable it to complete a temporary exhibition of the room. Moreover, there was an exposition of sacred art, or can I say a religious image, which was provided non other than San FranciscoConventMuseum in Granada. Again, there were exhibitions of statuettes, some of which I learnt were brought into the country during the colonial times.
Trying as much as I can, I managed to pass through the Güegüense room. The name sounds funny but you can call it macho Raton, as commonly known. Well, the name is from a theatrical play that was recognized as patrimony of humanity in the early days of colonialization. These terminologies sounded Greek to me but what can I say, I was determined to learn a lot. The paintings I found in this room were created using a pen. The exhibition was complete with traditional clothing. When I turned my eye to the left, I got a glimpse of college photos and videos performed on festivals during the traditional plays of El Güegüense.
I checked my watch and it confirmed to me that it was exactly 6.30 pm. The night was fast approaching and my tour guide equally wore a tired face. Anyway, I was happy and satisfied despite my bones being tired. I thanked my all day partner and went to a nearby restaurant. Although I cannot vividly remember the name of the night club, but I can say, without fear of contradiction that it was a great one. I discovered that most local and foreign tourists love the place because of its casual and more relaxed environment. I enjoyed my beer while at the same time a football game and, when food arrived, it was terrific. It was that kind of food that I will live to remember. To compound my evening experience, I joined some gentle men for a pool game before finally retiring to bed.
Having said that, for those planning to visit this place, let me promise you that it is a lifetime vocation. It is a place that you will learn everything about the history of Managua and more to this, there is a perfect place to rest your head after a long day activities. I therefore find no reason not to belief that it is one of the finest places of the world.
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