Video Postcard: A Tour of Downtown León, Nicaragua

In this video, IL tour downtown León—Nicaragua’s intellectual capital, and also a university town. León, the capital of the country for 200 years before Managua was so designated, once served as the country’s political, military, cultural, and religious center.

It is said that the only reason that Managua was made the capital was because of its location: between the very liberal León and the very conservative Granada.

León is still the intellectual capital of the country today, and its Municipal Library has good collections. The Metropolitan Cathedral here is considered the most significant colonial structure in all of Central America; many prominent Nicaraguans, including Ruben Dario, are buried inside its walls.

In this video, you’ll see:

  • A well maintained city with a recent rise in tourism
  • A good example of colonial architecture
  • More foreign influence — like an Italian bakery and a new casino
  • A lot of wall art and photos as tributes to Nicaraguan freedom
  • Book sales at the side of the street and sidewalk vendors selling food and antiques
  • A bustling main square


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