Nicaragua: Rumination on the Colonia Dambach



"Pennsylvania," Colonia Dambach, Managua (photo: Bernard Gordillo)

The Colonia Dambach, located in Managua’s Candelaria neighborhood, takes its name from its designer, Pablo Dambach, of whom I know too little.

Made up of three expansive buildings, formerly houses of a bygone era, the Colonia is known today for having been the location, at one point, of the National Conservatory of Music and School of Fine Arts. More recently, one of the buildings was restored and repurposed as the Museum of Nicaraguan Music.

I have visited a number of times, and on every occasion, I’ve been struck by the word “Pennsylvania” conspicuously carved in relief on the side of one of the buildings (see above), the only one to have such a marker.

I’ve been told by a former student of the National School of Music, who was a boarder in the 1970s, that it’s been there as long as he can remember.

I wonder, why was the building labeled in such a manner? (If it truly is a label.)

And why “Pennsylvania”?

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