Get to know León, the city with the most heritage in Nicaragua


Written by: Xavi February 11, 2019 No comment 3 minutes

We invite you to know the city of León, in Nicaragua, the city with the most heritage in the whole country and where the first university was founded.

In the year 1524, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba founded a city that was baptized as Santiago de los Caballeros de León, and which is one of the first settlements created in the current territory of Nicaragua. In this article, we will know a little more about this city, known simply as León and that it is one of the main cities of the Central American country, although now it is not living its best social and political moment.

And to know a place I like to know its history first, which in León we have the opportunity to do first hand if you visit the remains of León Viejo. The first settlement of León did not survive for more than a century, as a large eruption of the volcano Momotombo it motivated the abandonment of the place and that the settlers moved a few kilometers more safely. Over time, the abandoned city was left buried by ash and it would not be discovered and put into interest until the middle of the 20th century. Nowadays it is a great tourist resource and it is one of the places World Heritage from the country.

The other place with such consideration is also in León, Cathedral. The Insigne and Royal Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth and is nothing less than the cathedral larger from all of Central America. Baroque and neoclassical, designed by Diego José de Porres and Esquivel designed to withstand the usual earthquakes in the area, UNESCO highlighted it especially "The abundance of natural light", not in vain is also popularly known as the Cathedral of Light.

The Cathedral of León is a World Heritage Site

The Cathedral, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in America, is the jewel in the crown of one of the most important monumental heritages in Nicaragua. And the city of León has many other monuments, starting with a very long list of churches (heritage of being one of the oldest dioceses in America) and following places of a more cultural nature, such as Art Center of the Ortiz Gurdián Foundation, which occupies several colonial houses, or the Rubén Darío Museum. The famous poet spent his childhood in this city and died in it, and his remains are in the Cathedral.

Leon is also known as the University City or the Brain of the Nation, because in it the oldest university in the country was founded. It was in 1812 when this university was created, decree of the then Spanish King Fernando VII, and despite being the first in the country and the second that was founded in the Central American region, curiously considered the last before the movements began of independence throughout the American continent.

And this is the most interesting thing about León. Once you know the city and its historical and cultural heritage, and if there is time, you have to know the surroundings and nature. The department of Leon has landscapes as striking as the Corridor of the Volcanoes, highlighting the Momotombo or the Telica, or the beaches, highlighting Poneloya or Las Peñitas, which are barely 20-30 kilometers from the city.

Photo 1 | Flickr – H Dragon
Photo 2 | Flickr – Javier Losa

Nicaragua Department of León León Places of interest #cities