The current city of Leon was founded in 1610 some 30 km from its original site of 1524 that was destroyed by a series of earthquakes, today this site is called Leon Viejo.
It has a population of over 200,000 and it has more historical churches per capita than Granada. It is known as the intellectual centre of Nicaragua with the oldest university in the nation and the second oldest in Central America.
León Cathedral, is the most magnificent structure in town. It is not only the largest cathedral in Central America, but also one of the best known in the Americas due to its architecture and cultural importance. It’s been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Translated as Lion, this city lives up to its name with several lion statues along the churches at the town center. Most significant lions can be found at the tomb of Dario and outside the Cathedral.
It is rich in colonial homes and architecture and is just behind Granada in historical preservation.