Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral is also called the Granada Cathedral.
The church dominates the main plaza of Granada, Nicaragua and was begun in the 1500’s when the city was being colonized by Spanish conquerors. The church still serves the community and at a recent evening Mass was filled with locals as well as tourists who make the place one of their must do stops.
This Cathedral dwarfs other churches in the city and is not as ornate or beaten down as its competition. It is still a simple box covered with smooth plaster, tall bell towers, and is painted a striking color you can see from a distance. In its shadows is the main city Plaza, a collection of horse drawn carriages lined up in front of the Alhambra hotel, vendors selling sunglasses and food, tourists, and locals who have nothing better to do than people watch.
Walking into a Catholic church brings the usual statues, pews, robed white plaster men commemorated for dedication, nooks with burning candles, dizzying rotundas, a sense of space.
The unusual in this church is a Genie lift that supports an artist painting on the ceiling.
The cast of characters is to be expected. There is God, Adam and Eve, all of Noah’s animals, angels and scenes of Creation.
This morning, when there is no Mass, I find the lift extended and observe a little man on the platform high above me patiently expanding his assigned themes. He is no Michaelangelo and this is no Sistine Chapel, but the effect is still jaw dropping. The ceiling is huge, and, with so many sections to be filled, it is hard to believe the task will ever be finished.
But, completed or not,it is certain that this project will outlast many men and make the point continually that we are alive for a purpose, just not our purpose.