Guatemala City, locally known as Guatemala or Guate, is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Guatemala, and the most populous in Central America. The city is located in the south-central part of the country, nestled in a mountain valley called Valle de la Ermita. Guatemala City is also the capital of the local Municipality of Guatemala and of the Guatemala Department.
Guatemala City History
Human settlement on the present site of Guatemala City began with the Maya who built a city at Kaminaljuyu. The Spanish colonists established a small town, which was made a capital city in 1775. At this period the Central Square with the Cathedral and Royal Palace were constructed. After Central American independence from Spain the city became the capital of the United Provinces of Central America in 1821.
The 19th century saw the construction of the monumental Carrera Theater in the 1850s, and the Presidential Palace in the 1890s. At this time the city was expanding around the 30 de junio Boulevard and elsewhere, displacing native settlements from the ancient site. Earthquakes in 1917–1918 destroyed many historic structures. Under Jorge Ubico in the 1930s a hippodrome and many new public buildings were constructed, although peripheral poor neighborhoods that formed after the 1917–1918 earthquakes continued to lack basic amenities.
During the Guatemalan Civil War, terror attacks beginning with the burning of the Spanish Embassy in 1980 led to severe destruction and loss of life in the city. In May 2010 two disasters struck: the eruption of the Pacaya volcano, and two days later Tropical Storm Agatha.
Share this travel guide with your friends:
Join our list
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.