The charming León, less discovered (and less developed for tourism) than Granada, offers even more for history and architecture aficionados than its popular sister city to the south. Its collection of ornate colonial churches and impressive museums is incomparable in the country, and the Hotel El Convento offers the rare opportunity to enjoy the best religious art of the city and the architecture, from within.
Originally built as a convent for the neighboring church of San Francisco in 1639, the classic designed, tiled-covered building, with simple rooms surrounding a private, enclosed courtyard, fell into disrepair in the 1960s. It was almost destroyed during the Revolution of the seventies. After the weapons fell silent, the ruins of this peaceful sanctuary for meditation and prayer were acquired by the philanthropic family behind the Ortiz-Gurdian Foundation Art Center, which has the most complete collection of colonial religious art in Central America (and yes, that includes Antigua, Guatemala). With the commitment of a curator of the museum with historical details, the convent was carefully rebuilt, its interior courtyard planted with an elegant topiary of tropical plants surrounding a fine fountain. The dark and cool corridors, completely open to the beautiful gardens, provide ample space for rest and relaxation, or perhaps enjoy the recommended cafeteria and restaurant that serves Nicaraguan and international luxury (but at a good price) cuisine. And art … oh, where to start.
The museum of the Ortiz-Gurdian Foundation, near, already occupies two mansions full of the treasures of this family. Therefore, they have brought some of their most beautiful pieces here for their custody. Saints twisted, hand-carved effigies of the saints that cover the ships and transepts of the classic Catholic churches; Luminous religious paintings collected in Peru, Mexico and throughout America; Wonderfully ornate furniture carved by hand on this isthmus; And a more modern work, including a series of light portraits that juxtapose everyone from Elvis Presley and Yasser Arafat to Princess Diana and Nicaragua’s favorite son, Augustino Sandino. And dominating the cavernous vestibule, hung with candelabra and still more sculptures and paintings, is a truly incredible reproduction of the golden baroque altar of the Church Subtiava of Leon. You could spend an entire day simply wandering through these halls and absorbing the wonders inside.
Hotel El Convento
31 doubled rooms and 1 Suite,
Gourmet Restaurant: El Victoriano, El Patio, Cafeteria, Business Center and 3 events rooms with a maximum capacity of 450 people.
3era. Avenida NO y 1era. calle NO, Del Parque Central 2 cuadras al Oeste, 1/2 cuadra al Norte, León 21000