In Pre-Hispanic times this region was originally inhabited by a diverse variety of inus tribes, such as the Toltecas, Chichimecas and Guamares. The Alfaro and Ibarrilla archaeological sites outside Leon, show that the most ancient date back to the Pre-Classic period.
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Viceroy Don Martin Enriquez de Almanza originally founded Villa de Leon on January 20, 1576 as a defense stronghold against attracts by the Chichimeca tribe, Leon became a municipality in 1980, then officially became a city in 1830 and given the name Leon de los Aldama. During the Mexican Independence movement, Leon suffered economically, socially and politically.
Near Leon is located the archaeological zone of Ibarillo, of Tarasco-Chupicuaro origin. Twenty-three Km. east of Leon city you can visit Los Tanques and La Granja Spas.
Many workers abandoned the mines in Guanajuato during handicraft and shoe production began to take off.
Leon prospered after the War of Independence with an economic and population boom. This period of prosperity culminated in the Leon Industrial, Agricultural and Livestock Exhibition of 1923. Today one may see the many contrasts that exist in the city, such as beautiful colonial buildings along side modern architecture and wide boulevards.
These contrasts reflect a city that is constantly progressing and growing. Leon is known as the “Shoe Capital of the World”. Here, there is a large concentration of factories which produce high quality shoes and leather goods.
Leon Guanajuato Attractions
Like all of the regions that make up the city of Guanajuato, León has many attractions of cultural, historical and architectural value. Let’s not forget that it is one of the places that has one of the best zoos in the country, and to top it all off, it is home to the Balloon Fair, a fair filled with a lot of emotions. So let’s go right now to know what are its main attractions.
This Cathedral dates back to 1975 and has interior chapels and a baroque style facade. The Virgin of Light, patron saint of Leon since 1849 is worshipped here.
Our Lady of Angeles Church
This church was built at the end of the 18th Century and is churrigueresque in design.
The name of this square commemorates a local power struggle between different political factions which took place in 1946. The square is surrounded on three sides by beautiful neoclassic archways.
House of Culture
This house was built during the middle of the 19th Century and has a beautiful neoclassic quarry stone facade. The interior contains murals by Jesus Gallardo.
Built in 1893 to commemorate the 83rd anniversary of the Mexican Independence. The centerpiece of this neoclassic arch is a bronze lion which was donated by local bullfighter Antonio Valdez.
This restaurant and bar is distinguished by is tables which are the headstones of bullfighter who died in the bullring. It is considered a museum as it contains a large collection of bullfighting history and memorabilia.
San Juan de Dios Church and Garden
This age old romantic spot is regularly visited by local residents.
The gardens contain a variety of plants, orchid garden, greenhouse and orchards.
Over 2,000 animals are on display in this attractive park, such as polar bears, panthers, pumas, tigers and lions. There is also a lake with aquatic birds an a miniature train ride. Open Monday to Sunday.
Explora Science Center Museums
This interactive Science Center and park is 9,500 square meters, it contains four large halls (Man, Water, Communication and Movement), IMAX theater science classroom, workshops and temporary exhibits. Open Tuesday to Friday.
Over 260 hectares for recreation, sports and enjoying nature. The park has a pier, bicycle paths, train, rose garden, orchards, vegetable gardens, picnic tables and camp grounds. Also available are bicycle and boat rentals along with children’s games. Open daily.
This bowling alley also contains a domino room, pool tables, ping pong, foosball and coffee shop.
This museum displays Modern Art exhibits, many of which are by local artists, open Tuesday of Friday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Historical City Archives and Archaeological Museum
Many objects from the Chupicuaro and Chichimeca cultures are on display here, along with a variety of important historical documents, Open Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Explora Science Center
This interactive Science Center and park is 9,500 square meters. It contains four large halls (Man, Water, Communication and Movement), IMAX theater, science classrooms, workshops and temporary exhibits. Open Tuesday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Held from the first two weeks in January to the week in February. This fair is one of the most important in the country and year draws thousands of Mexicans and foreigners alike.
The most important date of the fair is January 20, when the founding of the city is celebrated. The Leon Fair is both industrial and commercial and offers livestock exhibits, handicraft displays and a variety foods.
Without a doubt, the city of León is an excellent place to escape for a weekend with the family, with your partner, with friends or even alone. You will not be disappointed at all. So that you do not stay with the desire, we invite you to know the city of Irapuato.