Monday, March 09, 2015

There's Always A Church

You can't miss the Real e Insigne Basílica de la Asunción de la Bienaventurada Virgen María (Real and renowned Basilica Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), also known as the Cathedral of León.  It sits in the center of town.  It seems no matter where we go in the world, there's always a church of significance on the touring agenda.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nicaragua's third UNESCO nomination, the cathedral is an important historical landmark. It was designed by a Guatemalan architect, Diego José de Porres y Esquivel. Construction began in 1747 and took 67 years to complete.  It is the largest cathedral in Central America.  
The interior is large and lit by windows at the top of the columns.  The structure is robust enough to have survived several volcanic eruptions and earthquake tremors.  Beneath the cathedral in earthquake-proof crypts are the remains of 27 people.  One of them the famous Nicaraguan poet, Rubén Darío.

Wikipedia states, "The tomb of Darío, father of the Modernist movement in Spanish-language literature and considered Prince of Castilian letters, is to the foot of the statue of San Pablo."  You can see the statues here at the front of each of the columns.

 A shot of the imposing altar.
The aging walls of the cathedral interior, with a holy water receptacle just inside the front entry area.
Agua Bendita (Holy Water)
After we toured the inside, we were taken up to the roof.  The stairwell was skinny and the steps similar to the ones we climbed at the Leaning Tower in Pisa.  There just weren't as many.

The view from the top was beautiful.  We had to take our shoes off before walking onto the pristine white rooftop.  I was surprised it was in such beautiful condition considering all the tourists climbing all over it.  We continued up one more level and got a great overview of the surrounding area.  

Here's Ed coming down from the top level.  
Another feature in the cathedral.
If you know me or are a reader for any length of time, you'll know I often see things with a critical and sometimes judgmental eye (not all things, but some things).  I tell you what I think and I don't always hold back.  I like to present reality.  But, I am learning to be a little softer in some aspects when it comes to the reporting part.

The guide who took us through his city was extremely proud of his people, his country, and the history that went along with it.  He also exuded a certain excitement having the opportunity to share it with us.  And when he was talking I realized that while I was seeing a run down city in an extremely poor country with living conditions that were not even livable by my standards, he was boasting about the university, the cathedral, and the two largest freshwater lakes in Central America (Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua). He mentioned them several times and even showed us their location on the country map he had taped inside the front of the tour bus.  He had a great love for all of it.

I like comfort,that's no surprise.  I like a latte.  I need air conditioning.  I don't like to go out of my way or be inconvenienced.  But even if it's a bazillion degrees outside and my feet hurt from all the walking I'm doing, I always travel with an open mind and look forward to what new facts I might learn to enrich my own existence. These countries have rich histories, with civilizations and people who have existed for thousands of years, and I love learning about them.

I also love being able to use my resources to ferret out a good place to eat or get a cup of coffee.  And I always try to find a unique trinket or small souvenir (that's not made in China) to take home with me.

And if I can't find that, I'll keep what I did find tucked away in my mind to think about someday in the future.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2014: The Parking Problems For A Big Rig Never End
2013: Need I Say More?
2012: Despite The Name, This Might Not Be Your Place If You’re Truly Bashful
2011: Then Someone Lit The Flame And Plain Rode Away On Lion’s Mane
2010: It Once Had A Life
2009: Life’s A Planet Beach
2008: I Wasn’t Even Fishing, But I Certainly Got A Great Catch
2007: Royal Air Force Typhoon Blows Into Nellis
2006: This Dandelion Needs Rogaine
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!


Anonymous said...

All around Brazil is a country loaded with horrible horrible poverty and vilence that will sicken the most hardest person. Yet, the church throws all that money into itself.Each and every statue has to be extremely expensive among everything in there. The upkeep is probable expensive. Yet, poverty is all around them. I'm speaking of most churches or organized religion in general. A vow of poverty is sickening when you have priest driving only the best. Retirement communities for priest worth millions. Love your blog.

The Daily Rant said...

ANONYMOUS: First, thank you for loving my blog. Second, I completely agree with you regarding the churches and organized religion thing. I know there are countries worse off than Nicaragua, and I know that there are many organizations to help the poor (churches included), but I see the very same thing in the United States - we are the richest country in the world yet we have children and elderly who don't have enough food to eat, people living in poverty just miles from those living in mansions, and would rather spend our money on products and people and politically driven bullshit than use that money to help ourselves and those in other countries. Yes, we offer other countries aid, buy we could and should do more. And yes, many countries (and churches/religious organizations) have those who live extravagantly right under the noses of those suffering. It's not right. And I'm pretty sure it's not what Jesus - who many profess to live by the word of - would approve.

Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting!