Managua, the capital city of Nigaragua, is located on the southern shores of Lake Managua, also known as Lake Xolotl?n. Managua extends along Lake Managua at an altitude of 55 metres (180 ft) above sea level, gaining altitude toward the Sierras de Managua where it is over 970 metres (3,182 ft) above sea level.
Managua is an unattractive urban centre, criss crossed with anonymous, tree-lined boulevards. For some reason street signs are few and far between in Managua. The architecture is a collection of uninspiring modern blocks that do nothing to entice visitors to spend any more time in the city than is absolutely necessary. However, Managua is beloved by its 1.4 million inhabitants, with its volcanic skyline and cosmopolitan charm being the insperation for many local songs and poems.
Downtown Managua is being rescued though, and has already been partially rebuilt. New government buildings, galleries, museums, apartment buildings, squares, promenades, monuments, and new broad avenues have resurrected part of downtown Managua's former vitality. Commercial activity within the downtown area remains limited however. This is because residential and commercial buildings have been constructed on the outskirts of the city, in the same area once used as refugee camps for those made homeless after the 1972 earthquake.
Lake Managua contains the same fish species as Lake Cocibolca, other then the freshwater sharks that are only found in Lake Cocibolca. Lake Managua was once a highlight of Managua but the lake has been polluted through the the dumping of chemical and waste water since 1927. Efforts are being made to decontaminate the lake, but it will be a long time before almost a century of environmental abuse can be reversed.
Old Cathedral Of Managua
The Old Cathedral of Managua is also known as the Old St James Cathedral, or the Catedral de Santiago in Spanish. It was designed in Belgium in 1920 by architect Pablo Dambach and shipped to Managua from there. The cathedral survived the 1931 earthquake but was damaged severly in the 1972 earthquake and consuquently condemned. This led to the construction of the new cathedral of Managua or "Catedral de la Concepcion". However, in recent years, the restoration of the old cathedral has appeared to be possible and it is currently awaiting its renovation.