Hotels in Medellin, Colombia Travel. Hotels, accommodation, travel guide, air tickets, gastronomy, attractions, activities, whale watching, photos, how to get there, how to get around, fairs and festivals, Trips and all the necessary information to plan an unforgettable vacation in Medellin Antioquia Colombia




Spanish discovery of the valley

In August 1541, Marshal Jorge Robledo was in the place known today as Heliconia when he saw in the distance what he thought was a valley. He sent Jerónimo Luis Tejelo to explore the territory, and during the night of August 23 Tejelo reached the plain of what is now Aburrá Valley. The Spaniards gave it the name of “Valley of Saint Bartholomew”, but this was soon changed for the native name Aburrá, meaning “Painters”, due to the textile decorations of the natives.

In 1574, Gaspar de Rodas asked the Antioquia’s Cabildo for 10 square kilometers (4 sq mi) of land to establish herds and a ranch in the valley. The Cabildo granted him 8 square kilometers (3 sq mi) of land.

In 1616, the colonial visitor Francisco de Herrera y Campuzano founded a settlement with 80 Amerindians, naming it Poblado de San Lorenzo, today “El Poblado”. In 1646 a colonial law ordered the separation of Amerindians from mestizos and mulattos, so the colonial administration began the construction of a new town in Aná, today Berrío Park, where the church of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Aná (“Our Lady of Candelaria of Aná”) was built. Three years later, the Spaniards started the construction of the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria, which was rebuilt at the end of the 18th century.

In 1616, the colonial visitor Francisco de Herrera y Campuzano founded a settlement with 80 Amerindians, naming it Poblado de San Lorenzo, today “El Poblado”. In 1646 a colonial law ordered the separation of Amerindians from mestizos and mulattos, so the colonial administration began the construction of a new town in Aná, today Berrío Park, where the church of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Aná (“Our Lady of Candelaria of Aná”) was built. Three years later, the Spaniards started the construction of the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria, which was rebuilt at the end of the 18th century.

Growth of the town

After 1574, with Gaspar de Rodas settled in the valley, population started to grow. According to the church records of the San Lorenzo Church, six couples married between 1646 and 1650, and 41 between 1671 and 1675. Gold mines were developed northeast of Antioquia, thus they needed food supply from nearby agriculture. The Aburrá Valley was in a strategic position between the gold mines and the first provincial capital of Antioquia, Santa Fe de Antioquia.

The provincial capital, Santa Fe, started to lose importance and gradually became poor, as trade and prominent personalities of the region came to the Aburrá Valley, where rich families started to buy land. Soon, the first settlers asked for the creation of a Cabildo (council) in the valley, thus getting a separate government from Santa Fe. The Santa Fe government fought this, but Mariana of Austria signed the edict creating the Cabildo on November 22, 1674. The governor Miguel de Aguinaga proclaimed the royal edict on 2 November 1675. The new city was given the title of Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria It is the second largest city in Colombia .




During the Spanish colonial period

Before the creation of the town, the inhabitants were scattered throughout the valley, with only a few families concentrated at the confluence of the Aná (today called the Santa Elena) and the Medellín rivers; others lived in El Poblado San Lorenzo. After the royal edict, the settlers chose the Aná site as the heart of the future city, with the Candelaria Church at its center

Their first buildings were simple, with thatched roofs. The houses of the most important people were two stories tall, and the church and the Cabildo were unimpressive. It was only during the 18th century that the church was improved. Only one story, the Cabildo was located at the western part of the plaza. It had a thatched roof until 1742, when tiles were put on. In 1682, traders and foreigners started the construction of the Veracruz Hermitage, which was consecrated as a church by the Bishop of Popayán in 1712.

In 1675, the first census during colonial times was taken: there were 3,000 people and 280 families. Another census was not taken until the colonial Visitador (royal inspector) Antonio Mon y Velarde ordered one between 1786 and 1787: there were then 14,507 people and 241 families. In 1808, two years before Colombia won independence, the city had 15,347 people and 360 families.

In 1803, the Royal College of the Franciscans was founded in the Central Plaza, which is Berrío Park today, with the initial departments of Grammar, Philosophy and Theology.[16] Soon after, the college moved to a new building in the small San Ignacio square. In 1821 it was renamed Colegio de Antioquia, and it became the University of Antioquia in 1901. The University also had the first vocational training school, the first cultural radio station in Latin America, and the first regional botanical garden.




Industrial revolution

In the first half of the twentieth century, the population of Medellín increased sixfold, from 59,815 inhabitants in 1905 to 358,189 in 1951. The Thousand Days War (1899–1902) stopped the industrial development of the city, although the civil war did not affect the region directly. Under reforms by President Rafael Reyes after the conflict, the city continued its industrial development and founded a Chamber of commerce. The Chamber developed a regional transport project that connected Medellín to other Colombian regions and other nations.

Despite the importance of gold production in the early development of Medellín, the export of coffee contributed the most impetus in the 20th century for the city’s growth. Trade grew to international dimensions as the main export of Colombia became coffee. The industrial and commercial dynamism of Medellín also created a caste of traders and entrepreneurs, who founded the first nationwide industries in Colombia.

Growth in second half of 20th century

Colombia entered a new era of political instability with the murder of presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitán in Bogotá in 1948. Political violence spread in the rural areas of Colombia, and farmers fled to the cities. The Valley slopes became overpopulated with slums.

As the population of Medellín grew quickly during the 1950s, industrialists, traders and local government created the “Medellín Master Plan” (MMP) (Plan Piloto), a plan for the expansion of the city into the Aburrá Valley that would lead to the creation of the first metropolitan area in Colombia. Paul Lester Wiener and José Luis Sert were the architects who led the project. Among the main features of the MMP were the canalization of the Medellín River, the control of new settlements on valley slopes, the creation of an industrial zone in the Guayabal District, the planning of the city to be in harmony with the river, the construction of a city stadium, and an administrative center in La Alpujarra.

In 1951 the city had 358,189 inhabitants, but 22 years later, in 1973, the population had tripled to 1,071,252. The population explosion had several consequences for the MMP. The urban limits of the city grew to areas that were not contemplated in the MMP, so that Medellín now reached the urban areas of other cities of the Aburrá Valley, like Envigado, Bello and Itagüí; the new Medellín settlers were poor families without enough credit to buy their own homes, so several neighborhoods were built beyond the MMP; several old downtown buildings were demolished to construct tall towers, offices, and avenues. The beautiful and traditional Junin Theatre along the Santa Elena was demolished to build the Coltejer Tower. The huge migration into Medellín provided workers for the expansion of textile factories, being modernized in this period,[15] but it also created new problems for the city: higher unemployment, lack of services for poor areas, urban violence in several districts, and collapse of any hope of a transport system.



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