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La Catedral Nueva - Historical Building Managua - Nicaragua

Pass by La Catedral Nueva (or, more officially, La Catedral Metropolitana de la Purísima Concepción de María) and you might be forgiven for thinking that the huge Catholic monument is either a mosque or modern art museum. Completed in 1993, the cathedral was designed by architect Ricardo Legorreta and topped by a series of supposedly tremor-resistant concrete half-shells. (Both the earthquake precautions and the cathedral’s old bells are legacies of the decimated Catedral Vieja.) Officially, the domes represent Nicaragua’s 63 major Catholic churches, although those with less tact would say they look like a cluster of boobs. The inside of the cathedral is just as modern; the main vestibule is cool and airy, thanks skylights in the dooms (if you’re bored, you can watch the pigeons walk across them), while the walls are painted bright yellow, pink and blue. Large wooden partitions can be opened outward during services to let in the breeze. The altar is in a white half-shell but, more startling, is the Sangre de Cristo room where a figure of Christ appears to be encased in a terrarium, with small windows adding the appearance of stars. Masses are at noon and 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday and at 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday.


For those who want to nosh after they visit the cathedral, the Cafetin Catedral Imaculado Conception serves up a small selection of snacks. The cafetin, located in the courtyard to the right of the cathedral, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday.

Managua, Nicaragua

Historical Building Types:
Church and museum

Relative price: Budget

Travel Skills: None

Here are other activities in and around Managua that may be of interest: Casa Presidential, La Concha Acustica , Teatro Nacional Rubén Darío, La Catedral Vieja and El Centro Cultural Managua .

By Rachael Hanley
A sometime newspaper journalist with a heavy side of wanderlust, Rachael moved to Quito in November to work on the V!VA staff. She is currently...
03 May 2009

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