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History of Medellin

The valley in which the city of Medellin now stands was originally occupied by Amerindians (from the 5th century BC).

The conquistadors landed in the area in 1541 and named the valley “Valle de San Bartolomé”.

The site of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Ana was founded in 1646.

In 1649, the great cathedral was built there, which marked the Spanish colonial period.

The official foundation of the city of Nuestra Señora de la Candeleria de Ana was pronounced by the provincial governor, Francisco de Montoya y Salazar on March 20, 1671.

The locality is therefore no longer attached to Antioquia.

Nuestra Señora de la Candeleria de Medellin, with a population of 3,000 inhabitants at the time, obtained the status of “city” on 22 November 1675, following the ratification of the royal certificate by Queen Doña Ana of Austria.

Governor Miguel de Aguinaga was charged with announcing the creation of the city.

King Carlos II affixed his coat of arms to the city in 1678.

The famous University of Antioquia, formerly known as the Real Colegio de Franciscanos, was built in 1803.

In 1808, a census was taken to count the number of inhabitants in the city.

Medellin had 15,347 inhabitants.

Medellin became the capital of the province in 1826.

The population of the city increased sixfold during the first half of the 20th century.

The city’s Chamber of Commerce was built in 1904.

Industries flourished.

In 1950, foreign architects drew up the current town plan.

In the 21st century, the city’s ambition is to become an important business centre on the South American continent.

Pablo Escobar, a heavy legacy

The city is also known to have been the stronghold of drug baron Pablo Escobar in the 80s and 90s, leading the city into the darkest hours of its history.

He stayed there until his death in 1993. A difficult period that remains a sensitive subject in Medellín. During guided tours of the city, guides even avoid pronouncing his name to avoid offending the inhabitants.

They want to turn the page and move on. Some unscrupulous tours surf on the “Pablo Escobar trend” that has been noticed in recent years, following a very famous series.

Avoid taking part in it, out of respect for the local population and the suffering they may have endured. This is not the image that the inhabitants wish to convey of their city.

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