Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas)

Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas), Leon: Address, Phone Number, Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas) Reviews: 4/5

Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas)

Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas)
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History Museums
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What people are saying
Not a Museum Tour: Guided tour of Corinto and Chinandega was interesting
Oct 2019
Tour was Traditions of Nicaragua, booked through Holland America. We had a very good guide who explained the history and current circumstances of his country. It is a very impoverished place. Even more poor than Haiti. We saw the simple poverty, where people still use horses for transportation, since a horse can eat all over the place, but gas costs about $10 per gallon. We saw the church in Chinandega, which was built in the 1800's. This one had a beautiful interior, but the statues and icons were simple examples. The statues were all in glass cases. The chancel / altar area had a bank of figures behind it but they were like little dolls, in very large spaces. It was a good, nice space but the parish is obviously very poor. Across the street (which was littered with trash, styrofoam pieces, plastic packaging, miscellaneous plastic pieces) a woman brushed her teeth with gusto, a man urinated against a building, and vendors tried to sell wares from places far from Nicaragua. It was surreal. We got back in the van and went to an estate. The owners are wealthy race horse breeders, and they provide horses to international races world wide. Their horses sell for $25,000 - $100,000 each. The owners are also philanthropists and they have built public schools, hospitals, parks, and provide equestrian healing activities to physically or mentally disabled children in the area. To date they have assisted 150 children, for free. We were served a simple lunch of tortillas, beans, and pico de gallo salsa. Beverages were bottled water or fruit punch. While were eating, some older students from the high school danced traditional dances, in costume. They were accompanied by a duo of marimba and mandolin players that was quite nice. The dancers smiled and posed for pictures with our group. Then, we all went to the yard to make our own tortillas. They don't grind their own corn; instead they grow it, dry it at home, then take it to any market in the area where they can grind it to corn flour. We were given balls of masa dough which we shaped into small tortillas. They were then cooked on the Comal and returned to us for snacking. Then a potter appeared and we watched him make a pot on a wheel, which was foot operated. After that, we were supposed to go buy some of his work that was nearly arranged on a nearby table. Then, a hammock maker appeared, busy weaving a hammock. After that, we were supposed to buy one of his hammocks. Back in the van for another short trip across town to another of the horse-owners' properties. This time there was an actual gift shop with actual crafts made by local artisans. I guess we saw the best of the area, and our guide recounted a lot of Nicaragua history, which unfortunately involved American meddling, and if you remember anything about Oliver North, Ronald Regan, Iran-Contra affairs, CIA, and illegal gun sales, Sandinistas, and lots more, well, Nicaragua (and the US) was in the thick of that, in the 80's. As far as I could understand, Nicaragua has still not recovered from that time period. There doesn't seem to be any bitterness in these people. Everyone met us with kindness and open friendliness. Our guide says each Nicaraguan lives each day with the attitude if they have food, shelter, and good health, they are rich and happy. It was an interesting tour and I think we saw the reality of the area, both the poverty, and disproportionate wealth. All the people we met were gracious, friendly, and kind.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
253 reviews
Excellent
76
Very good
86
Average
67
Poor
16
Terrible
8

Kevin L
Cache Creek, Canada55 contributions
Feb 2017 • Couples
Mainly paper machete figures, with explanations of various myths and legends, in Nicaragua. One. Thing you learn is that Nicaraguans, especially on the Caribbean side, have some serious voodoo types of beliefs that they still practise to this day
Written March 24, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

arivasjc
17 contributions
Nov 2015
The guided tour is about 30 min. A brief overview of the history behind the jail that used to be at the museum sight. Including history and myths behind the folkloric Nicaraguan stories. The fee is $2, worthwhile.
Written November 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

colqueta
Statesville, NC67 contributions
Mar 2014 • Business
Wish I would have done this at the beginning of my 2 weeks. only a dollar or so entrance. Tour really helps you understand history and culture of leon and all the figures you see around the city. Bombed church is also across the road.
Written March 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ACSilver902
Ottawa, Canada28 contributions
Aug 2016 • Solo
This museum has next to no artifacts, and consists entirely of displays of creepy life-sized dolls with tiny amounts of text next to them explaining some of the local legends. Not worth the time.
Written September 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DanandCarolina
Truro, MA174 contributions
Apr 2016 • Family
This museum was recommended by a local friend who has provided us with many other great tips. Unfortunately, though, this was her worst suggestion. The museum is a few blocks south of the main plaza past the hospital. It was vacant the afternoon we went with only one other guest there. The front area has a pretty garden to stroll around and multiple areas of random wood/junk piled up.

The back part is the old prison from the revolution with rooms full of random things. One room was dedicated to a famous female figure with one wall full of photos of her children and the other with framed junk (i.e. her diploma from high school, etc.). The other rooms were poorly lit, had manikins dressed mostly as revolutionary figures or skeletons holding fake knifes with a few plaques to read in Spanish. If you read everything, you maybe could spend 45 minutes here.

Take-home points:
- NOT kid friendly (unless an older kid who is into bad horror costumes and cheesy scary music on tape played in the background)
- Costs 50 Cordova per adult, 20 for kids (they tried to charge for our 1 year old)
- Tour guide speaks little English
- Quality of displays is about the level of a high schooler's obligatory History project
Written April 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

born2travelit
Cesena, Italy16,056 contributions
Jan 2013 • Couples
the best thing in visiting this bizzarre musuem is the guide. he expalins you detailly everything you see with such a strenght. he was very helpful in giving us all the explanations about legends and traditions of leon and nicaragua. it's located not far from the center and in a former prision. it's a weird and bizzarre combo between sandinista histroy, national guard tortures, tradions, legends and so on. we had a great time visiting it but i think that the presence of the guide is necessary otherwise u ll not understand the real essence of this place. the entrance fee for foreigners is 50 cordoba and 20 for locals but it's worthwhile.
Written January 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SutherinComfort
Corvallis, OR23 contributions
Oct 2019
Tour was Traditions of Nicaragua, booked through Holland America.
We had a very good guide who explained the history and current circumstances of his country. It is a very impoverished place. Even more poor than Haiti. We saw the simple poverty, where people still use horses for transportation, since a horse can eat all over the place, but gas costs about $10 per gallon.

We saw the church in Chinandega, which was built in the 1800's. This one had a beautiful interior, but the statues and icons were simple examples. The statues were all in glass cases. The chancel / altar area had a bank of figures behind it but they were like little dolls, in very large spaces. It was a good, nice space but the parish is obviously very poor.

Across the street (which was littered with trash, styrofoam pieces, plastic packaging, miscellaneous plastic pieces) a woman brushed her teeth with gusto, a man urinated against a building, and vendors tried to sell wares from places far from Nicaragua. It was surreal.

We got back in the van and went to an estate. The owners are wealthy race horse breeders, and they provide horses to international races world wide. Their horses sell for $25,000 - $100,000 each. The owners are also philanthropists and they have built public schools, hospitals, parks, and provide equestrian healing activities to physically or mentally disabled children in the area. To date they have assisted 150 children, for free.

We were served a simple lunch of tortillas, beans, and pico de gallo salsa. Beverages were bottled water or fruit punch. While were eating, some older students from the high school danced traditional dances, in costume. They were accompanied by a duo of marimba and mandolin players that was quite nice. The dancers smiled and posed for pictures with our group.

Then, we all went to the yard to make our own tortillas. They don't grind their own corn; instead they grow it, dry it at home, then take it to any market in the area where they can grind it to corn flour. We were given balls of masa dough which we shaped into small tortillas. They were then cooked on the Comal and returned to us for snacking.

Then a potter appeared and we watched him make a pot on a wheel, which was foot operated. After that, we were supposed to go buy some of his work that was nearly arranged on a nearby table.

Then, a hammock maker appeared, busy weaving a hammock. After that, we were supposed to buy one of his hammocks.

Back in the van for another short trip across town to another of the horse-owners' properties. This time there was an actual gift shop with actual crafts made by local artisans.

I guess we saw the best of the area, and our guide recounted a lot of Nicaragua history, which unfortunately involved American meddling, and if you remember anything about Oliver North, Ronald Regan, Iran-Contra affairs, CIA, and illegal gun sales, Sandinistas, and lots more, well, Nicaragua (and the US) was in the thick of that, in the 80's. As far as I could understand, Nicaragua has still not recovered from that time period.

There doesn't seem to be any bitterness in these people. Everyone met us with kindness and open friendliness. Our guide says each Nicaraguan lives each day with the attitude if they have food, shelter, and good health, they are rich and happy.

It was an interesting tour and I think we saw the reality of the area, both the poverty, and disproportionate wealth. All the people we met were gracious, friendly, and kind.
Written December 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

T-SGlobetrotters
Preston, UK2,317 contributions
Feb 2018 • Couples
The museum which is housed in La XXl a former garrison used infamously as a prison and interrogation centre during the conflict has two very diverse themes. There are life sized paper mache figures depicting famous people in Nicaraguan history and legends, in the same display area there are murals depicting gruesome torture techniques used in the buildings during the war. The museum was created by one individual, Senora Toruna who has her own room and a figure dedicated to her.

It is difficult to know what to make of the figures. I am assuming Senora had a wicked sense of humour because the figurines with their bad wigs and ill fitting clothes have a comical appearance but the commentary which is in both Spanish and English provides good background information on both famous figures and the legends of Leon.

The murals of torture are there I guess so people do not forget the horrors of war and the atrocities which took place in the buildings. Just outside the garrison the ruins of San Sebastian church have also been preserved. The church was virtually destroyed by bombs in 1979.

As part of a walking tour of Leon it is worth a quick visit. An English speaking guide isn't necessary because the explanations in English are very clear.
Written February 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paul
Ottawa, Canada18 contributions
Dec 2017 • Couples
This building was a prison not long ago (1979) where a lot of bad things happened to many prisoners (you really do not want to know). Each section in the prison has a paper mache of certain people/figures which is really cool. You get to learn a little bit about the history of the prison, but mainly the many legends (and ghosts) that the locals believe exist in Nicaragua.
Written January 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JennaFuh
Miami Beach, FL273 contributions
Nov 2016 • Couples
***Make sure to get a guide so that you know what's going on! My guide was Wilbur and not only was his English excellent, but he had a voice like James Earl Jones and was a very interesting person to talk to. Yes, you could read the papers on the wall, but he will make each legend come alive for you!**

The museum is actually a former prison where inmates suffered horrible tortures. You will learn about the unimaginable horrors that the prisoners endured so it is not for the faint of heart.

Once you have learned about the history of the prison itself, you can begin your journey on the Nicaraguan Legends and Traditions. I was so fascinated by each tale and loved that each story was illustrated by a depiction of the person or event. I want to tell you more about this; however, I don't want to spoil it for you,

After your guided tour, you can explore the grounds by yourselves in which you can go walk on the top of the walls and into the guard towers.

So, if you are in Leon, don't miss this unique gem, and tell my friend Wilbur I said HI!
Written November 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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