How the largest cathedral in Central America came to be built in this sun-scorched corner of Nicaragua is open to debate.
Some believe that the local clergy presented the ruling Spaniards with more modest plans and that these, once approved, were secretly altered to produce something much more magnificent. Others, including my guide Jose Antonio Andino, think the cathedral’s construction, which began in 1747, was the result of a Spanish screw-up.
“The Spaniards were sailing to the New World with two sets of plans, for cathedrals in Leon and Lima,” says Jose Antonio. “There was a mix-up and …”
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