Catedral Metropolitana


Just north of the Metrocentro mall is an unforgettable Managua landmark that's practically new (the doors opened in 1993). It's an architectural marvel that leaves most visitors, well, scratching their heads. It’s not a mosque, really: the 63 cupolas (or breasts, or eggs; speculation continues) symbolize Nicaragua’s 63 Catholic churches, and also provide structural support during earthquakes – a good thing, since it sits astride a fault line.

The interior is cool, heartfelt and unspectacular, although the shrine on the northwest side is nice. Of the US$45 million used to construct the cathedral, US$3.5 million was donated by avid pro-lifer Tom Monaghan, former owner of Domino's Pizza.