Guatemala City - City of Guatemala
Guatemala City is the capital and largest city of the nation of Guatemala. It is also the capital city of the local Guatemala Department and the largest city in Central America.
As of the 2006 census, the city had a population of 1,202,536 although it has grown in great amounts through the last two years.The city is located at in a mountain valley in the south central part of the country.
Within the confines of modern Guatemala City is the ancient Maya city of Kaminaljuyu. Kaminaljuyu dates back some 9,000 years and is one of the Americas' most notable archaeological sites. The center of Kaminaljuyu was located a short distance from the oldest part of Guatemala City. However, in the late 20th century, the city grew around the ruins, and, in some cases, over some of the outlying ruins before they were protected. Many of the several hundred temple mounds have been built over with freeways, shopping centers, commerce, luxury hotels and residential areas. The central ceremonial center of Kaminaljuyu was protected by the Guatemalan government and is now a park within the city. Even so, there are some ruins still alive that are protected by the government.
In Spanish colonial times, Guatemala City was a small town. It had a monastery called 'El Carmen', founded in 1629. The capital of Spanish colonial Central America was moved here after a series of earthquakes that began on July 29th 1773 destroyed the old capital, Antigua Guatemala. On September 27, 1775 King Charles III of Spain officialized the moving of the capital. This resulted in a great potential for expansion of the city.
The city was the scene of the declaration of independence of Central America from Spain, and became the capital of the United Provinces of Central America in 1821.
There are 10 universities, Universidad Mariano Gálvez, Universidad Panamericana, Universidad Mesoamericana, Universidad Rafael Landivar, Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Universidad del Valle, Universidad del Istmo, Universidad Galileo, Universidad Rural and Universidad de San Carlos, the only public one and third oldest university in America.
Guatemala City is the economic, governmental and cultural capital of the Republic, and it functions as the main port of entry into the country, with the country's largest international airport, La Aurora International Airport. In addition to a wide variety of restaurants, hotels and shops, the city has a wide variety of art galleries and museums and continually offers an increasing amount of cultural activities.
GUATEMALA National Bird : Quetzal
GUATEMALA National Flower : White Nun Orchid Lycaste skinneri alba