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Leon´s History

Our beautiful Leon City


Leon is characterized for having spectacular landscapes, beautiful beaches and impressive volcanoes many of them inactive, numerous attractive destinations few explored. In this region are laid the four Volcanoes of La Cordillera de Los Maribios, moreover this city enjoys of only beaches, historic town and above all churches of Colonial Architecture. This land has given birth imminent personage and recognized throught-out the world as:

Ruben Dario

Ruben Dario

Salomon de la Selva

Salomon de la Selva

Alfonso Cortez

Alfonso Cortez

Azarias H. Pallais

Azarias H. Pallais

Jose de la Cruz Mena

Jose de la Cruz Mena

and many other prominent personage.

Leon City was founded by Spanish explores in 1524 by Francisco Hernández de Córbobas about 30 kilometers from its present location, where the ruins of León Viejo (old town) lie down nearby Xolotlán lake in front of Momotombo Volcano. After the old town was destroyed by earthquake and one volcanic eruption in 1610 affecting the city severely it was moved to its present location next to the old indigenous town of Subtiava. The old ruins of this city are recognized as Leon Viejo.

Leon served as the provincial capital of Nicaragua for many years, and then as the capital of the republic until 1855. At León was signed the act of absolute independence and Costa Rica the Spanish monarchy in October 11th of 1821.



Before 1980 León enjoyed of an enormous settlement of agricultural businessmen, professors, educational and students housed on it. This prestigious University was founded in 1813 being last built and founded in América before Independence. Leon had the usufruct the university facilities and one of the biggest Medicine faculty and laws in Centro América in 1947 when it’s President was the dictator Somoza. It was elevated to category of National University and in 1958 Somoza’s son granted per decreed the Autonomy (Autonomous National University, UNAN).

Leon’s monumental patrimony is highly wealth

so many in monuments and natural places as:

Basilica cathedral La Asuncion of Leon
Cathedral Leon

Typical colonial Baroque construction was built between 1747 and 1814 from the east side it is prince’s courtyard and the Presbyterian until the facade and the two towers of neoclassical style that were made in last moment in west side. Due to the wall thickness made of brick and stone quarry with more than 1 meter of thickness has supported earthquake, quake, volcanic eruption, wars and its roof with domes of Baroque style seemed to Feudal Castle. In 1824 were placed on it several canyons on its roof when the city was surrounded and besieged by forces conservatives and in the insurrection of June and July of 1979 against the dictator Anastacio Somoza.

Subtiava Church
Sutiava It was considered as the major church after Cathedral. Its construction began in 1698 and was finished in August 24th of 1710. In the war with Salvador Country disappeared the domes that crowned the tower that would be built again at the beginning of the XX century.

San Francisco Church

San Francisco

This church is part of San Francisco Convent, one of the oldest in Nicaragua, which was founded in 1639 by Fray Pedro de Zuñiga with a renovated facade at the end of XIX century. On its interior it conserves two good exemplary of plateresque altars.

Recoleccion Church

RecoleccionIts construction began the December 5th of 1786 by Bishop Juan Félix de Villegas. It is was made possible thanks to the priest San Francisco de Nery. It is Baroque style with a facade of Mexican Barroque, currently considered with more relevance of the city. Its altar also baroque, it is one the best altarpiece. They highlight the paintings and worked them wooden with the one that one adorns.

Chapel of La Asuncion

It is part of college that has the same name. It was built in 1679 by Bishop Andres de las Navas y Quevedo, utilizing this as palace Episcopal later was occupied by Las Madres de la Asunción and in 1935 were performed deep reformation that allowed reaching the present location.

San Ramon College
San Ramon

Its present facade is symmetric with renaissance influence has been raised several times when it was destroyed for earthquake. It is has been occupied by University and have had performs as seminary.

Municipal Palace

It was built in 1935 and was damaged in 1979 by Somoza’s reprisal and his National army against FSLN insurrection. This building was projected by Architect Marcelo Targa who started the Neoclassicism in the architecture of Leon, pursuing the artistic movement at the end of XX century. It was really built during Juan Bautista Sacasa’s administration. This building has great architectonic value.

Leon Viejo (Old Town)
Leon Viejo Ruins

The ruins of old town was destroyed by volcanic eruption (Momotombo volcano) in 1610 and also founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernandez is considered as Humanity patrimony its founder is buried there along with other personages are Pedrarias Davila. There are more beautiful and relevant places to visit as Guadalupe wall graveyard, Guadalupe’s Bridge and Subtiava Cural House or train reel station that deserves your attention.

Poneloya beach
PoneloyaThis is one of the best beaches where you can go and surfing, its has big waves and Restaurant offering you variety foods as seafood, cocktails, beverages, and many other services to its visitors and host people. This beautiful beach is located to 25 kilometres from Leon City; there are fishermen and handmade, where you can have all these facilities and tourist services. There are also services about boats, restaurants, typical dining of the place and lodging services in Hotels and Hostel as Suyapa, Playa Roca and Barca de Oro available for those that want to spend the night close to the sea.

Mausoleum Heroes and Martyrs in León


There are numerous feast celebrated in our beautiful city and also many other important celebration as: Holly Week where there are many processions and very typical acts and with massive participation of its inhabitants, among which you can the sawdust carpets.

The Gigantona (A gigantic doll)


Representations that characters the colonial time that they come out to make happy the parties. It is a puppet with three meters of high that represents a Spanish lady with her suit and jewels; and a dwarf with a big head always accompanies this lady and he goes her reciting ballads that make critical and satire regarding the domestic social events. This feast takes place in December 07th of every current year.