Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Built between 1747 and the early 19th century to the design of Guatemalan architect Diego José de Porres Esquivel, the monument expresses the transition from Baroque to Neoclassical architecture and its style can be considered to be eclectic. The Cathedral is characterized by the sobriety of its interior decoration and the abundance of natural light. The vault of the Sanctuary, however, presents rich ornamentation. The Cathedral houses important works of art including a wooden Flemish altarpiece, and paintings of the 14 stations of the Way of the Cross by Nicaraguan artist Antonio Sarria (late 19th and early 20th centuries).
The Cathedral of León, also known as the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of León, and "Cathedral of Light", whose official name is Insigne and Royal Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a cathedral of the Catholic Church of colonial baroque construction located in the city of León, Nicaragua.
The cathedral has in its interior the tombs of well-known personalities such as the poet Rubén Darío. The decoration of its interior is sober and, among the most important elements, its ceiling stands out from where you can enjoy good views of León and its surroundings, and its natural lighting, the result of the 34 domes that the temple has.
It has historical value for being, since 1531, the episcopal seat of the first diocese of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, making it one of the oldest dioceses in America. It is the seat of the Diocese of León.
Under its arcades, in its crypts designed to withstand earthquakes, rest the mortal remains of 27 people, including 10 bishops, 5 priests, a hero of independence, three poets, a musician, six notables and a slave.
Some illustrious characters of the Nicaraguan nation, buried in it are: the hero Miguel Larreynaga; the poets Rubén Darío, Salomón de la Selva and Alfonso Cortés; the musician José de la Cruz Mena; the wise doctor Luis H. Debayle; Professor Edgardo Buitrago; the first bishop of León and the last of Nicaragua Monsignor Simeón Pereira y Castellón, the priest Marcelino Areas and Bishop Cesár Bosco Vivas Robelo.
The tomb of Darío, father of modernism and considered the Prince of Castilian letters, is at the foot of the statue of Saint Paul.
Since the summer of 2011, Central America has a place declared a World Heritage Site. And it is that the committee of the historical heritage of humanity of UNESCO, decided to include in its list the cathedral of the Nicaraguan city of León, the largest Catholic temple in Central America in neoclassical style and considered one of the architectural jewels of Ibero-America.
Restoration and Overflow
At the beginning of 2016, the colossal restoration of the temple began, this included painting it the original white on the outside and cream on the inside, restoring the shields and engravings on the inside and outside of the cathedral; paint the 5 cruise ships, rebuild the chapel in the prince's garden, as well as clean the exterior sidewalks, place lanterns around it. Years before and today, the Mayor's Office of León had blocked the streets around the cathedral to make them pedestrian streets, as well as numerous streets that have historical value in the almost 500-year-old city.
The Cathedral of León has become the symbol and pride of León and its visit is essential. The Cathedral is León is the most important and imposing work of Nicaragua and "symbol of nationality".
Throughout the year you can take tours of the Cathedral of León. The Cathedral offers tours of its naves, the basements, the Cloister (a baroque bath), the Prince's Courtyard, the Pinacoteca, the Baptistery and the El Sagrario Chapel, ending with the towers, the bell tower and the five terraces, from where You can see the domes, cupolas and peaks of the religious building, as well as churches, roofs and colonial houses of the historic center of León, as well as the Los Maribios volcanic mountain range.