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León Cathedral

The largest church in Central America, Nicaragua’s León Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s well-known for its eclectic design. Mixing Baroque with Neoclassical, Gothic with Mudejar, the famous cathedral was built between 1747 and 1814 and was designed by Guatemalan architect Diego José de Porres Esquivel.

Covering a whole city block, the quirky cathedral has a set of narrow stairs leading up to its domed roof. Here, you can check out the cannons which were put up during the 1824 siege of the city. You’ll also get to see the bell La Libertad that announced the independence of Central America to the world.

Head down to the cathedral’s cellars, too, where you can visit three of the tunnels which connect the cathedral to León’s other churches. These tunnels were built as a means of fleeing invading pirates, and in the main chapel, you can see a statue of a black Christ that still bears the hack wounds of a pirate's sword.

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