Rising in solemn beauty above the tree-lined avenue near the central Plaza of León, the Arco de la Calzada de los Héroes (Arch of The Heroes) visually commemorates Mexican Independence. León, Guanajuato state's largest city, is distinctly more urban with a dedicated OptiBus system serving its core as well as a highly developed industrial district.
Surprisingly, León is one of Mexico's foremost eco-friendly cities since the many citizens get around via bicycle or public transport. León is also known as “Shoe City” owing to its thriving leather industry of over 200 years and is home to some big outsourced brands produced locally, including Nike and Madden.
Though the commercial capital of the state, León's has plenty of cultural attractions. The Museo de Arte e Historia de Guanajuato provides a colorful insight into the history of the city, with expositions ranging from 13th Century Chichimecas, to the massacre of 1946 within the Plaza of Martyrs.
The Neo-Gothic Templo Expiatorio beside the river exudes a beauty that many find hard to resist photographing. A highlight of any visit should be a trip to the “Bullfighting Museum” cum restaurant. Tables are the reclaimed tombstones of bullfighters, and the décor remnants of the bulls themselves. Still, they serve a mean, but generous plate of nachos with a salsa to die for!
While León may not have the cultural draw of its nearby neighbors Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, it is a pleasant city in it's own right with plenty to offer.