Founded in 1524, León Viejo (Mon–Fri 9am–5pm, Sat & Sun 9am–4pm; C$45), 32km east of the modern city and now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the original site of León, before it was destroyed by an earthquake and volcanic eruption on December 31, 1609. Among the ruins excavated since the site’s discovery in 1967 are a cathedral, monastery and church; the graves of Nicaragua’s first three bishops and of the country’s founder, Francisco Fernández de Córdoba, were also uncovered. It’s a modest site, although a wander around the half-restored buildings and accompanying plaques gives you a good idea of just how bloody Nicaragua’s colonial history was. The surroundings are almost as fun: for much of the year the woods are rich with birds and butterflies, and the old fort, located just east of the main ruins, offers tremendous views of Lago de Managua and brooding Volcán Momotombo.

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Nicaragua features

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Nicaragua's tourism revolution: this is the year to visit

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18 Aug 2015 • Sarah Gilbert insert_drive_file Article
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The travel bucket list

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08 Feb 2013 • Tim Chester insert_drive_file Article
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