Leon, Nicaragua

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Columbus visited Nicaragua in 1502.
Gil Gonzalez de Avila explored in 1522.
The Spanish landed in force in 1523 and founded Leon and Granada.

In 1821, Central America rebelled against Spain. A confederation of Central American countries fell apart and in 1838, Nicaragua became independent.

Between 1855 and 1857 the American filibuster William Walker seized power but was overthrown, eventually ending up before a Honduran firing squad.

The first city of Leon was founded at the base of Mount Momotombo in 1524. It was abandoned in 1610 due to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The ruins are the only Spanish colonial city with an intact urban plan and the site is a World Heritage site.

Leon and Granada alternated as capitals until
Managua was adopted as a compromise in 1852.
Below: Local performers greet the ship.

On the Way to Leon

Volcan San Cristobal


Entrance to Colegio la Asuncion.
Below: What better symbol for Leon?

Cathedral of the Assumption


  Below: vendor making sugar cane juice.


Volcan San Cristobal venting steam.
Church of the Recollecion.
The rightmost volcano, apparently obscured by fog (actually smoke), is Volcan Momotombo, which figured prominently in scuttling plans for a canal across Nicaragua. French investors wanted their interests in Panama bought out, so they hired an American lobbyist. When Nicaragua printed a postage stamp with the fuming volcano on it, the lobbyist sent them to every member in Congress, saying "There are volcanoes in Nicaragua! You don't want to build there! It worked.
El Calvario

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Created 12 December 2020, Last Update