History of Caracas, Venezuela


Caracas had experienced several exchanges of destruction and restorations before it had reached its present state as a modern city. Let's turn back the time and see what started it all.

The valley where Caracas now stands was originally a place of the Toromaima Indian tribes. In 1560 Francisco Fajardo discovered the land where he founded a settlement called San Francisco. He tried to drive out the Indians but he failed and the natives destroyed his settlements. A year after, Juan Rodrigues Suarez, who founded the Venezuelan city revived the destroyed settlements and called it Villa de San Francisco. The valley was completely acquired from the tribe through the complete conquest order of the governor of Venezuela, then a province.

Captain Diego de Losada re-established the settlement named Santiago de Leon de Caracas on July 25, 1567. Caracas became a capital of Venezuela in 1577 after the nomination of governor Juan de Pimentel. In 1578 Caracas was known as a small city with only 60 families. The city became prone to pirate attacks and plagues. Pirates burned the entire city in 1595 and the 1641 earthquake again destroyed the city before it was completely reconstructed. Almost 500 residents died during that natural disaster.

In 18th century, the city has experienced some developments. The trading company of 700 captains and merchants, the Real Compania Guipuzcoana was born. This company dominated the trade in the colonies of Spain and uplifted the economy of Caracas. The people of Caracas complained of corruption and several protests against the company were carried out. In 1810, the CaraqueƱos staged a coup against the government until Venezuela was given its independence from Spain in July 5, 1811.

The city again lost 10,000 people to an earthquake that struck and destroyed the city in 1812. Spain finally recognized the independence of Venezuela in 1845. The modest growth of Caracas in the first part of the 20th century made the city very silent. The discovery of oil in 1914 at the Maracaibo basin had ignited the boom of the city's economy especially in the 1970s. The economy and population of Caracas then suddenly boomed. The oil money was mainly credited for the booming of Caracas which is now a modernized and highly industrialized capital city. The earthquakes and modernization destroyed most of the remnants of the old town.

The history of Caracas is very interesting to know. But due to the destruction of the ancient structures, the evidence of the early struggles of Caracas is very limited.


Source by Deevan Aw

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