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Leon Cathedral declared a World Heritage of Humanity

Cinthia Membreño | Jun 28, 2011

The cathedral is now part of the Nicaraguan World Heritages of Humanity, named by UNESCO in previous years.

Leon Cathedral, one of the most emblematic buildings of this metropolitan city, was declared a World Heritage on a press release issued today, June 28th, by the press department of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The announcement also included a list of other relevant sites from Ukraine, Mongolia and France, which are now part of the 936 sites that have been classified under the same category as the cathedral.

According to the press release, 25 sites were named World Heritage in 2011; three of them are natural, 21 cultural and one mixed. The list also includes the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans (Ukraine), the Petroglyphs Complexes of the Mongolian Altai (Mongolia), The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean Agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape (France) and, of course, the Cathedral of León (Nicaragua).

UNESCO stated that the Nicaraguan basilica “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 construction of this building started over two centuries ago and was designed by the Guatemalan Diego José de Porres Esquivel. Inside the monumental church, visitors can find the grave of the renowned Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario, as well as a variety of important art pieces.

Two Latin American sites also appear within the group of 25 World Heritage list, such as the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras) and the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia (Colombia). It is worth mentioning that Nicaragua also has other World Heritages. The theather play El Güegüense (2005), the Garífuna Dances of the Nicaraguan and Central American Caribbean Coast (2001) and the Ruins of Leon Viejo (2000) are on this list. For further information about the press release, visit UNESCO's website.