Bookmark and Share

Leon Colonial Center

After moving from the first Leon, now referred to as “Leon Viejo”, the actual city of Leon was established and founded in 1610 near the Indian community of Sutiava. The city center and streets were laid in a grid system pattern with a central plaza, a bishop house, city hall, a governor´s house and military headquarters.

Leon was the capital of the country until 1851 when Managua was declared the new capital because of internal political fights between the Granada Conservatives and Leon Liberals. The historical city center of Leon is larger than the city of Granada. There are many old colonial churches; some of them have been restored.

The Spanish colonial city of Leon boasts the largest cathedral in Central America, which has been unanimously selected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in June 28, 2011. It holds a good number of religious arts such as paintings, relics, gold and silver items, sculptures and a fascinating rich history. It was strategically designed with tunnel systems for Bishops to escape from Pirate attacks. Today it is possible to walk on the roof of the Cathedral and enjoy nice view over the colonial city as well as on the Maribios volcanic chain.

Walking around the city center you will discover the most complete Art Museum in the country Fundacion Ortiz Gurdian, the museum and former house of the famous Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario, the former prison for political prisoners “la 21” now converted into the Legends and Traditions museum. Political colorful murals can be observed in the center of the City, evidence of the strong revolutionary past of Leon.

Colonial History • Traditions & Legends • Arts and Paintings • Poetry and Literature

Local Information

Currency: U$1 x C$ 30.43
Local Time:


ORO Travel is member of ATLAS ORO Travel is verified by Rainforest Alliance ORO Travel is member of TourCert ORO Travel is member of TOPS