The largest urban agglomeration in Central America. Population (1994 estimate) 1,150,452.
Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala. It sprawls across a range of flattened, ravine-scored mountains, covering an entire mountain plain and tumbling into the surrounding valleys. It is the nation's largest city and its chief economic, transportation, and cultural center. Most of the country's manufacturers are in the city and its suburbs.
Guatemala City was founded in 1776 as the country's third capital. The first capital, Ciudad Vieja, founded nearby in 1527, had been destroyed by flood and volcanic activity in 1541. The second capital, now called Antigua Guatemala, also located nearby, was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773. Under Spanish rule Guatemala City developed into the chief city of Central America. Guatemala City was rebuilt along chiefly modern lines following a series of devastating earthquake in 1917 and 1918. Northern parts of the city were again heavily damaged in a great 1976 earthquake, and new buildings were built at the southern end of the city.
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Major cities near Guatemala City:
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