Nicaragua: Masaya – Fortaleza El Coyotepe

Fortaleza El Coyotepe was built on a hill outside Masaya in 1893, offering panoramic views and a commanding post to repel and defend against the invading North American armies (Nicaragua was an independent state for nearly a century from 1821 to 1909). During the brutal Somoza regime, the fortress was converted into a prison with a dungeon underneath, where all the political prisoners were thrown. When Sandinistas overthrew Somoza, the fortress was quickly revamped to hold the political prisoners of the newly minted “communist” regime. Nowadays the fortress is abandoned (as is the road to it).