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Ruins of León Viejo
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 16th century
Date of Inscription: 2000
Location: South America, Nicaragua, Puerto Momotombo, Municipality of La Paz Centro, Department of León
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Description: León Viejo was one of the first Spanish colonial settlements in the Americas. As it saw no building up, its ruins are an exceptional demonstration of the Spanish Empire’s social and economic structures in the 16th century. What’s more, the site has vast archaeological potential. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  León is a city in Nicaragua, Central America. In full the legal name of the city, granted in Spanish Colonial times, is Santiago de los Caballeros de León, but this is little used. It is the capital and municipality of Nicaragua's León department. As of 2005 the city had an estimated population of about 145,000 people. León is situated on the Río Chiquito (Chiquito River), some 50 miles northwest of Managua, and some 11 miles east of the Pacific Ocean coast. Although less populous than Managua, León has long been the intellectual center of the nation, with the university founded here in 1813. León is also an important industrial and commercial center for Nicaragua. The first city of León in Nicaragua was established in 1524 by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba about 20 miles east of the present site. After the 1610 eruption of the Momotombo volcano, located only a couple miles away, caused extensive damage, the inhabitants of this old León decided to move to another location to prevent the loss of life and property again to an eruption. This new site had been a Indigenous town named Subtiava. The ruins of the abandoned city were excavated in 1960 and placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in the year 2000 as a World Heritage Site. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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