The most important cities




Managua, the capital of Nicaragua is by far the country's largest city.  Managua is the center of Nicaraguan transportation, commerce, finance, and manufacturing and is a major cultural and educational site.  Built over geologic fault lines, Managua was badly damaged by earthquakes in 1931 and 1972, and most of its central area has never been rebuilt.

Managua is situated about 45 km (about 28 mil) from the Pacific Ocean, on the southern shore of Lake Managua.  It lies in the western lowlands, Nicaragua's most densely populated region, between the major cities of Leon and Granada.  It is served by the Pan-American Highway.  The climate is hot, with average daytime temperatures around 30°C (86°F) or higher.  Heavy rains fall from May until early November, but the weather is relatively dry the rest of the year.   


Managua, New Metropolitan Cathedral


León (city, Nicaragua), western Nicaragua, capital of Leon Department.  Leon is the transportation and cotton-trading center for the surrounding agricultural region.  Manufactures include furniture, shoes, and leather goods.  The city is the site of the Autonomous National University of Nicaragua (1812) and an 18th century cathedral, one of the largest in Central America.  Leon was founded in 1524.  During the 19th century it was the center of the Liberal Party.  Population (1995 estimate) 150,000.

Leon Cathedral and Basilica


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