Learning at The Revolution Museum in León, Nicaragua

Learning at The Revolution Museum in León, Nicaragua

Visiting The Revolution Museum in León gives a rare opportunity to meet those who stood up in the Nicaragua Revolution…and lived to tell the tale!

Like a cheap Flor de Cana and Coke, Nicaragua and revolution go hand in hand. This beautiful volcanic land has experienced  political problems for over 100 years. Yet it doesn’t look like there’ll be a real solution any time soon.

Back in 1979 however, things looked a little brighter. The Sandinistas and their FSLN Party overthrew the Somoza regime. A notorious family who had held power over the country for more than 40 years. Foundations had been laid for something new. The Revolution Museum in Leon celebrates this period and the struggles that came before.

Outside The Revolution Museum in Leon, Nicaragua
From the outside, The Revolution Museum looks like it has a story to tell

From the outside, The Revolution Museum looks like a building long forgotten. Abandoned over time and in a state of disrepair. Venture inside though and you’ll discover one of Leon’s true gems. At face value there’s little to see. Some dirty rooms and a few pictures on the wall. Yet with the aid of a guide, The Revolution Museum comes alive and a thrilling history awaits to be discovered.

I must admit, that at the present time my Spanish is poor and The Revolution Museum tours are only in Spanish. This could put travellers off, but the guide was one of the best I’ve ever had. Some background reading beforehand assisted in my understanding, but he was so enigmatic, that even in Spanish, it all became clear.

Inside The Revolution Museum Nicaragua
Inside The Revolution Museum Nicaragua

Marcelo volunteers at The Revolution Museum and is one hell of a character. Leaping around the room, jumping from one poster to the next, arms waiving in the air. The stories became alive. We learned about Nicaragua’s national hero Augusto César Sandino and his fight to overthrow the US military regime that occupied Nicaragua.

Grand Staircase in The Revolution Museum Nicaragua
The Revolution Museum Grand Staircase

Sandino met his end in 1934 at the hands of the notorious Somoza regime. Yet his legacy lived on. In 1979 with the Somoza’s still in power, Nicaragua’s people couldn’t take it any more. Revolution hit the streets of Nicaragua and the then leader Anastasio Somoza fled to Paraguay.

Rooftop view of León Cathedral
Gorgeous views from the rooftop looking over to Central Square at León Cathedral

It was there in Asunción that Somoza was assassinated; his waiting car met by a rocket launcher. Marcelo was elated at this and he insisted we pose with a rocket launcher like that used in the attack. I don’t know if it counts as dark tourism, but it was one hell of an experience!

Laughing with a rocket launcher
A good time was had by all, posing with a rocket launcher used to kill a former dictator
Posing with a rocket launcher The Revolution Museum
Rose wears a rocket launcher well
Rocket launcher and Revolution
I had the hat on incorrectly, so Marcelo corrected it for me. It’s essential to wear it right!

Adding a more sophomore tone to the tour, Marcelo showed us some black and white photographs on the wall. His youthful self looking back at us from the images. During the 1979 revolution Marcelo was detained for peaceful protest, as were many others. He spent 27 days in prison and endured torture. Sadly, his family were all killed at the time, adding to the dark history of the times.

Protester reflects back on his image during the 1979 Nicaragua Revolution
Marcelo looks on at a younger version of himself during the 1979 revolution

The Revolution Museum is a unique experience. It’s a far cry from volcano boarding, or diving in to Somoto Canyon, but I truly feel it’s a fascinating insight in to the country’s past. If you’re in León, don’t miss it!

How do I get to The Revolution Museum?

The Revolution Museum is located opposite the Central Park in León. Standing in front of the cathedral, look towards the rear left hand side of the park and it’s right in front of you.

How much does The Revolution Museum cost?

The Revolution Museum costs just 100 Cordobas ($3 USD) and that includes a guided tour.

How long should I spend at The Revolution Museum?

A tour takes one hour and you are free to stay and explore at your leisure afterwards.

Essential Items for Your Trip to Nicaragua

It’s always useful to have a guide that helps you plan your travels. The Lonely Planet Guide to Nicaragua is ideal. Also available as Kindle.

If you’re travelling through Central America, The Lonely Planet Guide to Central America is also an exceptional travel planner. Also available as Kindle.

I have taken one of these across the world. This power strip is essential for international travel. It charges multiple items at once and takes any kind of international plug. Perfect if you’re in a hostel dorm with limited plug sockets or have a lot of tech to charge.

You’ll need sun cream to fight against Nicaragua’s scorching sun. I recommend an eco friendly reef sun cream. This means if you also use it to go swimming, you won’t be harming the underwater environment and animals. You won’t get burned either!

Save the environment and stay hydrated with a bottle that filters your water. This is ideal for travelling overseas where people don’t have the luxury of potable tap water. It will mean you don’t get sick or use a lot of non-recyclable plastic.

Get the best value accommodation in Nicaragua here:



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1 thought on “Learning at The Revolution Museum in León, Nicaragua”

  1. Pingback: 16 FUN Things to do in Leon, Nicaragua - Volcano Boarding & MORE!

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