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Sights and sites visited by a single man exploring the world at human speed.
|Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2014-08-18 20:09:10 | Leon, Leon, Nicaragua|
Keywords: architecture, church, Colonial, UNESCO
|The second UNESCO site in Nicaragua is also in León, it's the imposing cathedral. This imposing structure is the largest cathedral in Central America and was used as base model to make the cathedral of Lima, in Peru. It's a complex mix of Spanish design integrating local materials, design and art.|
The current building is the fourth
incarnation of the cathedral. The very first one was completed in
1610 after the abandon of Leon Viejo, was a modest structure and was
quickly replaced by a wood and adobe structure in 1624. Another wood
and adobe structure was made after the previous one had been totally
burned by pirate William Dumpier in 1685.
Inside the cathedral
The construction of the current
building began in 1747 and it took almost a century to complete. It
was worth the wait!
Amongst the design cateristics we find
thick massive walls taking into account the seismic activity of the
volcano-dense area. It's also important to note that most of the art
inside is from local artists, not imported from Europe. The fact the
area gained its independence in 1821 while the cathedral was not
finished is also a factor in the art selection.
There are more beautiful churches
within a few blocks of the cathedral, but this white elephant imposes
its presence in the centre of the city.
A view of the roof.
One of the specificity of the building
is its public access. By paying US$5 tickets you can visit the
basement or access the roof. I'm not too fond of small basements so
I didn't go see the thumbs in there. But I went on the roof. The
roof itself is very spectacular with its light openings and domes.
You can walk almost all the perimeter of the roof, giving you access
to view all the city around the cathedral.
Its imposing structure and mixture of
architecture gave to this building a place amongst the UNESCO World
Heritage list in 2011.
Modern Ensemble of Pampulha
Panama Viejo and Casco Viejo
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