After a short stay in Managua I rode to Leon, Nicaragua.
City of Leon
Leon has a unique historical place within Nicaragua. Wikipedia says this about the city:
León has long been the political and intellectual center of the nation and its National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) was founded in 1813, making it the second oldest university in Central America. . . . León had been the capital of Nicaragua since colonial times, so naturally when Nicaragua withdrew from the United Provinces of Central America in 1839, León became the capital of the new nation. For some years the capital shifted back and forth between León and Granada, Nicaragua, with Liberal regimes preferring León and Conservative ones Granada, until as a compromise Managua was agreed upon to be the permanent capital in 1858.
Leon sees itself as the first capital of the revolution, which is proudly displayed on the city hall.
Revolution Museum and Graffiti
Reminders of the revolution can been seen throughout the town.
There is even a museum of the revolution in a building that hasn’t been restored since then.
When I was there they were still celebrating the revolution with flowers laid at memorials, speeches and re-enactments.
Like pretty much every latin american town, the churches are the one of the highlights. Leon is no different. The largest church is Our Lady of Grace Cathedral, León. According to wikipedia:
The Cathedral was awarded World Heritage Site status with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). . . . The Cathedral’s construction lasted between 1747 and 1814 and was consecrated by Pope Pius IX in 1860. Cathedral has maintained the status of being the largest cathedral in Central America and one of the best known in the Americas due to its distinct architecture and special cultural importance. . . . Seven tunnels start under the church and lead to the other churches in the city.