Managua (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈnaɣwa]) is the capital city of Nicaragua as well as of the department of the same name. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Managua, it is Nicaragua's largest city, with an estimated population in 2016 of 1,042,641 within the city limits and a population of 1,401,687 in the metropolitan area, which additionally includes the municipalities of Ciudad Sandino, El Crucero, Nindirí, Ticuantepe and Tipitapa.
The city was declared the national capital in 1852. Previously, the capital alternated between the cities of León and Granada. The 1972 Nicaragua earthquake and years of civil war in the 1980s severely disrupted and stunted Managua's growth. It was not until the mid-1990s that Managua began to see a resurgence.
Managua's population is composed predominantly of mestizos and whites who are mainly of Spanish descent, with a minority being of French, Jewish Nicaraguan, German Nicaraguan, Italian, Russian and Turkish descent.
Managua, Nicaragua History
Founded as a pre-Columbian fishing town, the city was incorporated in 1819 and given the name Leal Villa de Santiago de Managua. Efforts to make Managua the capital of Nicaragua began in 1824, after the Central American nations formally attained their independence from Spain. Nicaragua became an independent nation in 1838. Managua's location between the rival cities of León and Granada made it a logical compromise site. Hence, Managua was officially selected as the nation's capital in 1852.
Between 1852 and 1930, Managua underwent extensive urbanization, becoming a base of governance, infrastructure and services. The city was hampered by major floods in 1876 and 1885. A disastrous earthquake in 1931 and large fire in 1936 destroyed much of the city. Under the rule of Anastasio Somoza García and his family (1936–1979), the city was rebuilt and began to grow rapidly. New government buildings were erected, industry developed, and universities were established. The city's development caught the attention of Irving Fields and Albert Gamse, who composed a musical piece about the city that became popular in the 1940s through the performances of Freddy Martin, Guy Lombardo and Kay Kyser. Managua had become Central America's most developed city. Today's references differentiate the pre-1970s Managua by labeling it as La Antigua Ciudad, which in English translates to "The Ancient City" or "The Old City".
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