9th Edition of Encyclopedia Britannica - free ninth edition online encyclopedia Britannica » Volume 6 [CLI-DAY]: Albert to Coustou


city honduras

COMAYAGUA, a city of Central America, capital of the republic of Honduras, and of the department of Comayagua, is situated in 14° 28' N. lat. and 87° 39' W. long., about half way between the Pacific and the Atlantic, on the right bank of the Hnmuya or Ulua River, and near the southern edge of a wide and fertile valley to which it gives its name. It lies 2060 feet above the level of the sea; and the valley is shut in by mountains varying in height from 5000 to 6000 feet, so that it enjoys a comparatively temperate and equable climate. It is the residence of the president and the seat of the only bishop in Honduras; but' the political disturbances of the country have reduced it to a very poor condition. The houses are mainly of one story and built of sun-dried bricks ; and the fine fountains, monuments, and public buildings, of which it once could boast, have for the most part fallen into ruins or decay. Of those still left the principal is the cathedral, a rather imposing building, with cupolas and towers dating from the beginning of the 18th century. The university, founded in 1678; and more than once nominally restored in the present century, does not practically exist. The trade of the city is very small, in spite of the fertility of the neighbouring district; but a railway is in course of construction, which will put it in direct communication with both sides of the continent. In the neighbourhood, Mr Squier informs us, "hardly a step can be taken without encountering evidences of aboriginal occupation; but the only relic mentioned in the city itself is a dog. shaped figure built into the walls of the church of Our Lady of Dolores." The present city, originally designated Valladolid la Nueva, was founded in 1540 by Alonzo Caceres, who had been instructed to find out an eligible site for a town midway between the oceans. In 1557 it received the rights of a city, and in 1561 was made a bishop's see. Its prosperity is shown by the fact that at the great revolution of 1827 it had about 18,000 inhabitants. Burned in that year by the monarchical party of Guatemala, it has since suffered during successive contests, more especially in 1872, when it witnessed the defeat of General Medina's army by the allied forces of San Salvador and Guatemala, and in 1873, when it was besieged for about two months. In 1854 Scherzer estimated the population at only 2000 ; but it is believed now to number between 7000 and 8000.

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