Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday in History: Ciudades de Santiago

Cali is the third largest city in the South American country of Colombia. It is southwest of the capitol, Bogotá, and was founded in 1536 by Sebastián de Belalcázar, a Spanish conquistador.
Another Spanish conquistador, Francisco de Orellana, founded Guayaquil, which is now the most heavily populated city in Ecuador, in 1538. Guayaquil is located on the coast, southwest of Ecuador’s capitol, Quito.
Venezuela’s capitol, Caracas, was founded in 1567. Don Diego de Losada laid its foundations, and the words he said over those first stones were “I take possession of this land in the name of God and King.”
It is obvious what all of these places have in common: they are all in former Spanish colonies, all of them founded by conquistadores. There’s something else that binds them. Cali is Santiago de Cali. Guayaquil’s formal name is Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayauil. Santiago de León de Caracas is the full name of Venezuela’s capitol.
On this day in history in 1536, 1538, and 1567, major cities were founded in the New World by the men who were conquering it. They were all named after the patron saint of Spain, Saint James, whose feast day was being celebrated on the day they were established.
Happy St. James day, everyone. And happy birthday, ciudades de Santiago.

All images from Google Maps.

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