Leon, Guanajuato

Leon, in the state of Guanajuato, is a city specialized in leather and shoe manufacturing and is located in the geographical center of Mexico, in the Bajio region. Leon borders to the north with the municipality of San Felipe and the state of Jalisco

The site where the city of Leon is located today has been inhabited since pre-Hispanic times. Different indigenous groups lived here until the arrival of the conquerors in the XVI century.

Leon was founded as a village in 1576 and it became a city in 1830 with the name of Leon of the Aldama in regard of these independence heroes.

Agriculture was the base of the economy until the XVIII century and later handicrafts and shoe manufacturing appeared to became the most important activities.

Nowadays, the city of Leon is regarded as the world capital of shoes given the fact that several shoe factories operate here.

Today, the architecture of Leon is a mix of old buildings and modern constructions. Example of this is the Cathedral from the mid XVIII century that houses the worshiped Virgin of the Light.

In 1880, Manuel Doblado Theater building was inaugurated with the presentation of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata and the Macbeth opera.

With the mission of rescuing and promoting cultural traditions and artistic activities, Diego Rivera House of Culture, in a XX century baroque building, serves about 4000 students offering 140 different workshops.

Leon offers libraries, an historical archive, a sacred art gallery, and the famous yearly fair that is held in January featuring funny activities for children and grown ups, shows, cattle expo, and industrial displays.