Friday, September 30, 2016

Nicaragua Trip: The Lion Cities

Nicaragua has 2 lion cities. The first one is 'León Viejo' (old Leon city) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded in 1524 but unfortunately, it was buried by eruptions of the Momotombo volcano in the 1610s. In 1960, the site was excavated that resulted into a ruins park.

For foreigners, a 5 US dollar entrance fee is required. The site is rich in history and unbelievable stories. The fee I believe is being used to preserve the heritage site and its continuous restoration.

The founder, Francisco Cordoba was decapitated in the main square of the site. It was ordered by governor Pedrarias Davila. The sad thing about the place is that most of the ruins are still buried and only top most structures are visible. Each point of sites has a description both in Spanish and English. It is an important part of the history as it displays city planning from 16th century and it was never altered so the preservation is a huge plan of the government.

Also from this site, the famous Momotombo volcano can be viewed. It stands in the Lake Managua and just erupted in 2015. 

From the old, the new León City is situated 30 kilometers from León Viejo. The iconic symbol in the new León City is the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Leon. Because of its solid construction, it survived and have endured earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. This is the largest cathedral in Central America.

The new lion city also houses the monument of Maximo Jerez. He was one of the leaders that pushed the unity of Central America. He is considered as greatest political thinker in Nicaragua. The statue was built for his honor.


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