Managua, which is esteemed for its history, is the second biggest metro area in Central America and by far the biggest city and urban centre in Nicaragua. The city is Nicaragua’s chief trading centre for coffee, cotton, and other crops and also a prime industrial centre. Parks and public plazas bring people together and strengthen the connection with nature. The architecture of Monuments, churches, and plazas in Managua has a significant role in reflecting the culture and history of the place. 

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Here are 15 incredible places you must visit in Managua:

1. Revolution Square

The Revolution Square, formerly known as the Plaza de Armas, is located in the historic centre of Managua. This is the setting where the revolutionary fighters took up arms to establish democracy.

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This square comprises the National Palace of Culture and the Old Cathedral buildings, representing political and religious power. The Palace Of Culture, which was constructed in 1940, is a significant example demonstrating the Neo-classical Architecture style contrary to the Old Cathedral, designed by Pablo Dambach and finished in 1938.

The Revolution Square

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The Old Cathedral

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The National Palace of Culture

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2. National Palace of Culture

The National Palace of Culture is one of the largest and major artistic and cultural centres created in Nicaragua’s capital by the end of the 19th century. The Old Cathedral and the Presidential Palace are in proximity to the National Palace. The National Museum, also known as Palacio National de la Cultura, provides nine permanent and temporal exposition rooms.

It was designed by architect Pablo Dambach which encompasses the National Library, the National Archives, and the National Museum of Managua, all under one impressive Neo-classical roof. The murals and statues used in the building accentuate the mere function of the palace.

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View of The National Palace of Culture

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The National Museum entrance 

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3. The Old Cathedral Of Managua

The Old Cathedral of Managua, known as the Catedral de Santiago, is a part of The Revolution Square. It was designed by Belgian Architects whose construction was overseen by Belgian engineer Pablo Dambach. 

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The Neo-classical architectural style of the cathedral was said to have been inspired by the look of the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, France. The Cathedral survived many earthquakes except for the disastrous 1972 Nicaragua earthquake that led to the building’s closure. 

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Interiors of The Cathedral

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4. Immaculate Conception Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which is known as the New Cathedral, was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. This cathedral, as a substitute, did the duty of the Old Cathedral, which was thought to be unrestorable after a 1972 earthquake that destroyed 90% of the city. 

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The cathedral’s design is earthquake-resistant and is indicative of human and spiritual values, and offers the Nicaraguan people a place of hope, love, and prayer.

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Interiors of The Cathedral

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5. Sandino Monument

Sandino Monument, also known as Monumento a Sandino, sits on one of the highest points of Managua, a volcanic hill above Tiscapa Lagoon. It consists of a 59-feet high steel statue that can be seen from many parts of Managua and is dedicated to Augusto Cesar Sandino, one of Nicaragua’s most famous revolutionaries. 

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The little detail beyond the hatted silhouetted figure of the freedom fighter is a noticeable feature.

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6. Mezquita de Managua

Mezquita de Managua is a beautiful mosque located south of the historical district of Managua for its Muslim population. This mosque is equipped with a playground and a parking lot. It also houses a library above the praying area. The interiors of the mosque are lit by numerous windows imitating Islamic architecture.

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Interiors of the mosque

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Minar Of the mosque

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7. Puerto salvador allende

Puerto Salvador Allende is a lakeside promenade that is occupied with restaurants, parks, and children’s playgrounds. It is on the southern coast of Xolotlán Lake in the northern part of Managua. Beautiful vistas with engaging activities make the lakefront lively and establish a connection with nature. The play of colours is evident throughout the promenade highlighting certain areas.

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Lakefront Harbour

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8. Seawall, Managua

Seawall Managua is a paved lakeside plaza that offers amazing vistas for the public. The plaza is more engaging with the appropriate use of colours and certain elements such as the “Trees of Life,” which are also seen in the Sandino Monument and virtually everywhere in the capital city.

Trees of Life

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9. Parque Japón Nicaragua

Parque Japon Nicaragua is a Japanese urban park situated in the Residencial Los Robles, in Managua, Nicaragua. It is regarded as one of the best parks in central America in the light of design, style and safety. It is an amalgamation of two very distant cultures that is a Japanese-style park and a Nicaraguan-style park. This park houses a building with traditional Japanese Architecture mainly intended for organising educational, cultural activities.

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Japanese landscaping is evident through its dry garden or, as the Japanese call it, a Karesansui, typical in Zen temples and appropriate for meditation, and the wooden bridges that connect the islands.

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Torii – Entrance to the park

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10. PAC Cultural Centre – Pablo Antonio Cuadra Cultural Centre

PAC cultural centre is a major cultural meeting place in Managua, houses PAC Museum, PAC Auditorium, bookstore, gallery of musical instruments handicrafts and cafeteria.

PAC has two main sections: one is the modern auditorium with a capacity of around 250 people, which has high-quality audiovisual equipment and high-technology acoustic design, and a museum where photographic, paintings, and handicrafts works are exhibited, depending on the time.

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11. Ruben Dario National Theatre

Ruben Dario National Theatre is a spectacle of modern architecture in Central America and became an exemplar for future architects. It was designed by José Francisco Terán Callejas in 1963. 

This project re-energised the centre of Managua, which has impressive views of Managua’s lake and is located in a natural setting of volcanoes and mountains. It mainly houses three main spaces: the Crystal Room, the Main Hall, and an Experimental Theater. 

The Main Hall consists of precisely 1,200 seats distributed between 3 balconies, and the main floor is designed in continental style. The Experimental Theater, a space dedicated for local artists to develop their skills, is planned beneath the main hall and can accommodate 230 people.  

Theatre

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12. Metrocentro

Metrocentro is a shopping centre in the capital city which houses about 120 stores, a food court, a supermarket, and a movie theatre. It is developed and operated by Salvadorean Grupo Roble. White colour is dominantly used on the exteriors of the building, accentuating it from the surroundings. All the blocks of the building are spread across the site rather than the vertical development. 

Further, in the years, a new storage space, building of the four-star Hotel Real InterContinental Metrocentro Managua, more than 25,000 m2 of new commercial space, and two-level parking spaces were added.

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13. Plaza de La Fe

Plaza de La Fe, known as The Place of Faith, is the locus of celebrations in Nicaragua. The acoustic shell, which is the focus of the plaza, is located at the rear end. 

The shell is designed to support the directional sound reflections both to the plaza and the performers. The concavity of the shell and its elements pitch in achieving acoustic requirements. This shell has an enormous capacity for full orchestra and choir and supports all types of performances and presentations, be they multi-band, dance, classical music, or speech.

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Elements of Acoustic shell

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14. Augusto C. Sandino International Airport

Sandino International Airport is the principal joint civil-military public international airport in Managua. It is named after Nicaraguan revolutionary Augusto Nicolás Sandino, and many sculptures of Sandino are noticeable in the airport lobby spaces. 

According to EAAI, ACS is the most modern airport in Central America and the 4th safest in the world. Structural materiality is very evident throughout the structure.

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15. Ruben Dario Monument

Ruben Dario Monument in Managua is situated in the park near the Plaza de le Revolución. This monument is built to memorialise a famous poet, a leader of the modernist movement that characterises Latin American literature. 

This monument depicts modern style. It houses a white structure, emphasised with a water feature, depicting national poet Rubén Darío amid a heavenly scene of angelic figures on a boat. 

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References :

  1. Managua | History, Landmarks, Economy, & Facts | Britannica. (2020). In: Encyclopædia Britannica. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/place/Managua.
  2. Expedia.com. (2021). Visit Monumento a Rubén Darío in Managua | Expedia. [online] Available at: https://www.expedia.com/Monumento-A-Ruben-Dario-Managua.d553248621532965048.Vacation-Attraction?gallery=open&pwaLob=wizard-package-pwa

           [Accessed 4 Oct. 2021].

  1. ArchDaily. (2020). AD Classics: Rubén Darío National Theatre / José Francisco Terán. [online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/932148/ad-classics-ruben-dario-national-theatre-jose-francisco-teran

[Accessed 4 Oct. 2021].

  1. vianica.com. (n.d.). The National Museum. [online] Available at: https://vianica.com/go/specials/17-national-museum-nicaragua.html

[Accessed 4 Oct. 2021].

  1. ‌vianica.com. (n.d.). Managua, Nicaragua – ViaNica.com. [online] Available at: https://vianica.com/nicaragua/managua

 [Accessed 4 Oct. 2021].

  1. ‌Trip101. (2019). Top 29 Things To Do In Managua, Nicaragua – Updated 2021. [online] Available at: https://trip101.com/article/things-to-do-in-managua-nicaragua
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Author

Manya is an architecture student pursuing her Bachelors and loves to explore, learn and grow.She believes in divergent thinking which made her passionate about Research and writing Architecture. Graphic designing and creating pieces of Art interests her and helps her escape reality.

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