Leon (Nicaragua)

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Coordinates: 12 ° 26 '  N , 86 ° 53'  W
Map: Nicaragua
Leon on the map of Nicaragua
Basic data
Country NicaraguaNicaragua Nicaragua
Department Leon
City foundation 1524
Residents 145,000  (2005)
City insignia
Seal of Leon, Nicaragua.svg
Flag of Leon, Nicaragua.svg
Detailed data
surface 591 km 2
Population density 245 inhabitants / km 2
height 86  m
Post Code 21000
Time zone UTC −6
The Basilica de l'Asunción around 1900 ...
The Basilica de l'Asunción around 1900 ...
... and nowadays
... and nowadays

León , completely Santiago de los Caballeros de León , is the provincial capital of the administrative district of the same name, León, in western Nicaragua . The city has a population of about 158,000 and is not far from the Pacific Ocean and is a center of peanut and sugar cultivation . Cotton , which dominated until the 1980s and was cultivated with enormous damage to the environment, is no longer produced.


León was founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba . The first León ( León Viejo ), however, was about 30 kilometers away from today's. After an eruption of the Momotombo , which hit the city hard, León was re-established near the indigenous settlement Subtiaba. The ruins of old León are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site as León Viejo .

León was the seat of the Indendencia de León in Nicaragua, which was established in 1787 and later the province of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which existed from 1812 to 1814 and again in 1820/21.

In León on October 11, 1821, the Act on the complete independence of Nicaragua and Costa Rica from Spain was signed. León was then the capital of the state of Nicaragua in the Central American Confederation and, after Nicaragua left the same in 1838, its capital. However, for a few years the capital city status changed repeatedly between León and Granada . In 1858 this situation was resolved by making Managua the capital of the country.

León is considered the intellectual metropolis of Nicaragua and traditionally represents the country's liberal element; the city was a center of the revolutionary struggles in 1978/79 and the residence of the famous poet Rubén Darío . During a visit to León, the dictator Anastasio Somoza García was shot by the young poet Rigoberto López Pérez on September 21, 1956 and died eight days later from his injuries. The city of León has been ruled by the FSLN without interruption since 1979 .

The city ​​partnership between Salzburg and León has existed since 1984.

Worth seeing

La Merced Church
  • The León Basilica de la Asunción , which was completed around 1860 after over 100 years of construction, is considered the largest and oldest in Central America . León also has a university founded in 1812 .
  • Other sights are numerous historical buildings from the colonial era,
  • The Ortiz Gurdian Art Museum with a large exhibition of classical and modern painting as well as the
  • Subtiaba , El Calvario , La Recolección , La Merced , San Felipe and San Francisco churches .
  • Rubén Darío's house is set up as a museum.

Many buildings that were destroyed during the revolutionary years have not yet been restored or rebuilt. Many well-to-do Leoner people own a weekend house on the beach of Poneloya (20 km).


In the Subtiaba language , Sutiaba means place of the river of little black snails . Subtiaba included 18 comarcas rurales (districts) which were inhabited by around 17,000 indigenous people. In 1609 there was an eruption of the Momotombo and due to numerous quakes in 1610 León Viejo was relocated to the place of today's Leon at the center of the Cabildo de Indio Sutiaba. From 1698 to August 24, 1710, the church of San Juan Bautist de Subtiava was built in Sutiava under the Corregidor Diego Rodríguez Menéndez . The tower dome disappeared in 1844 and was rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1776, the administrative districts of Nicaragua were redistributed according to the reform of Carlos III . The area of ​​what is now Nicaragua was divided into five administrative districts: León, Matagalpa, El Realejo, Sutiaba and Nicoya. In 1902 Sutiaba was incorporated into León as Barrio Sutiaba. The Barrio Sutiaba today forms the western part of Leon, towards Poneloya. The Barrio Sutiaba had about 35,500 inhabitants in 2000.

sons and daughters of the town

Town twinning

Web links

Commons : León (Nicaragua)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Jeffrey L. Gould To Die in this Way: Nicaraguan Indians and the Myth of Mestizaje, 1880-1965 , Duke University Press, 1998, p. Xii
  2. manfut Sutiava
  3. El Nuevo Diario , 7 de Febrero de 2000 Los Títulos Reales del Pueblo de Sutiaba son una expresión de la realidad ( Memento of the original from June 18, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / archivo.elnuevodiario.com.ni
  4. fondacoin puntos Ernestina Roque, luchadora por los derechos de Sutiaba ( Memento of the original of July 4, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.puntos.org.ni