White cathedral

At the central square of León, Nicaragua, you’ll find the Real e Insigne Basílica de la Asunción de la Bienaventurada Virgen María – the Baroque style cathedral completely painted in white to protect against the sun. It was finished in the year 1860 and is today a UNESCO world heritage site. The cathedral is beautifully decorated outside and inside; it contains an impressive large Way of the Cross and is the burial place for several important poets, including the famous Rubén Darío.

‘Si la Patria es pequeña, uno grande la sueña.’

– Rubén Darío

Rubén Darío is considered the national poet of Nicaragua, was born in 1867 in Metapa (today: Ciudad Darío) and died in 1916 at León. He worked as a journalist and diplomat, but it were his poems that made him famous in Latin America and Europe. Statues of him can be found throughout the whole country, but here he is buried underneath the statue of a crying lion.

But there are further reasons why to visit the cathedral! You can get tickets for a guided tour through it, including the crypt. For that, different wooden gates in the floor will be opened to show graves and artworks stored underneath. What you can’t see is what is told to be a splint of the True Cross. Through one gate in the south you can also access a narrow staircase which leads you onto the roof of the cathedral. To protect the color of the church you need to take your shoes off – but then you can roam the rooftop freely and enjoy nice views on the entire region and the mountain range surrounding it.

Real e Insigne Basílica de la Asunción de la Bienaventurada Virgen María
Calle Rubén Darìo
Avenida Central Norte

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