Nicaragua // The northwest //

La Veinte Uno

Three blocks south of the cathedral lie the ruins of La Veinte Uno, the National Guard’s 21st garrison and scene of heavy fighting in April 1979. The garrison now houses two very different museums, which together go by the long-winded title of Museo de Leyendas y Tradiciones Coronel Joaquín de Arrechada Antigua Cárcel de La Veinte Uno. One half of the building houses a collection of ghoulish figures from Nicaraguan folklore, including a chariot-riding grim reaper and a giant crab, while the other focuses on the garrison’s ugly past, with a small collection of revealing black-and-white photos taken during and after the Somoza era. Captions in Spanish document the torture that went on inside.

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