This is La Basilica de la Assuncion:
You might remember it as the striking catedral that dominates the parque central as I mentioned in my first post about Leon.
The cathedral was closed for siesta that first day, but when my roommate mentioned that you could climb to the roof of this historic site, I knew I’d have to return.
So a couple of days later I made my way to La Basilica de la Assuncion after Spanish classes and a lengthy siesta. The interior of the church is impressive, but my camera was being finicky with the light, and only one photo turned out okay. Coincidentally, that photo was the one I took of the tomb of Ruben Dario – the most celebrated poet of Nicaraguan (and much of Latin American) history – and a special favorite of my family (Look guys! It’s Dario!).
Then it was time to climb to the top. We exited the building and reentered through a small side-door, where stairs have been built inside the original cathedral walls. After a few flights, we emerged to the bell tower:
And then out to the white-washed roof – which has been recently renovated.
That’s where we met this guy:
And enjoyed views of the central park and the first university to be founded in Nicaragua (founded in 1813, it was the second university to be founded in Central America, and now houses a catholic school).
Then it was time to climb another flight of stairs, where we were treated to some pretty spectacular views of the city and the surrounding volcanoes: