Idea #407 – Exploring the archeological site of Leon Viejo in Nicaragua
Leon Viejo is the oldest Spanish colonial establishment of America. Its was founded by Hernandez de Cordoba, send from Panama to conquer the coast of the Pacific in the North of Tezoatega. The city grew up and reached the peak of its expansion in 1545, staying of a very modest dimension: it would not have exceeded a population of 200 people. Archaeological excavations highlighted the vestiges of the cathedral, the convent of Merced and royal foundry, as well as palace of the governor, city hall, notables’ houses, and small fort which dominated the city.
It is interesting to note that the body of Córdoba was buried in the crypt of the cathedral and was found during archaeological excavations. The city knoew a succession of crises and declines, among which of the natural disasters, included as a curse sanctioning the murder of bishop Antonio of Valdivieso in 1550. The city was definitively abandoned in 1610, after an earthquake. Then, people founded a new city then in 30 km from there, on the current site of the city of Léon. The existing structures on the site were partially kept then, and allow today to understand well the organization of this pioneer establishment.
Where is it ?
Leon Viejo, Puerto Momotombo, Leon, Nicaragua