An hour and a half by two chicken buses from the town of Leon are the remains of its sixteenth century predecessor, 30km to the east. This site was slowly abandoned between 1578 and 1610 in response to a volcanic explosion, economic difficulties and finally an earthquake.
Having only been founded in 1524 the town did not have time to grow very large – the Spanish inhabitants are estimated to have numbered only around 200 at its height.
The excavated remains are the lower two to three feet of the brick wall of the buildings, including two churches, a small monastery, some houses, the royal mint and a few structures of as yet unidentified use.
On of the reasons for the UNESCO listing is that as the site was never developed further, it is displays the layout and use of the earliest Spanish colonial settlements.
It was a peaceful trip to the countryside but there is not a great deal to see and consequently it doesn’t yield a particularly interesting Lego model.