Medellín is the capital of Colombia’s mountainous Antioquia province. Nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring” for its temperate weather, it hosts a famous annual Flower Festival. Modern metro cables link the city to surrounding barrios and offer views of the Aburrá Valley below. Sculptures by Fernando Botero decorate downtown’s Botero Plaza, while the Museo de Antioquia displays more of the Colombian artist’s work. Medellín is the second-largest city in Colombia. It is located in the Aburrá Valley, a central region of the Andes Mountains in South America. As of September 2019, the population of Medellín is about 2.5 million people. Medellín covers a total area of 381 square kilometers (147 square miles).
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
Early development of Medellin began in what is modern-day Poblado. It’s speculated that the early settlers of Medellin were Spanish Jews, who were fleeing from the Inquisition. There has been an enormous educational, cultural, social, and urban transformation in Medellin. Today about 2 million tourists visit this city each year, a city that was once non-existent with tourism in the 1990s due to the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. However, Catholicism is still the main religion in Colombia by number of adherents, with an estimated 70% of the national population in nominal Catholicism, from which about 25% are practicing Catholics.
Brief City History
The valley of Aburrá was discovered by Spanish explorer Jeronimo Luis Tejelo in 1541, but the settlement of Medellín was founded later, on March 2, 1616, by Spanish conqueror Don Francisco Herrera Campuzano under the name of San Lorenzo de Aburrá. Early development started in the southern part of the city now known as El Poblado. In 1675 the name was changed to Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Medellín. It was not until 1813 that the villa got the denomination of the city. Thirteen years later it was proclaimed capital of the Department of Antioquia after government officials decided to move out from Santa Fe de Antioquia. Sometime after that, the name was shortened to the present-day version of just Medellín.
Historians believe that many early settlers to Medellín were Spanish Jews fleeing the inquisition. They divided the land into small haciendas which they farmed themselves. This contrasts greatly the slave-based plantation culture that dominated early Colombian settlements. With their focus on self-reliance, these early settlers had little interest with outside commercial contact and neighboring regions. They came to be known as hard workers with a fierce independence streak. These are traits that still hold true to this day and can be seen all throughout this radiant city on a daily basis. The people of Antioquia are the heart and backbone of Colombia.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
Spanish is the official language of Colombia. There is not a lot of English spoken in Medellin. Few locals are bilingual; however, you will find some signs written both in Spanish and in English, especially in the more touristy areas such as El Poblado.
Important Types of Commerce in Medellin
Medellín developed a wide industrial base that includes food processing, woodworking, metallurgy, automobiles, chemicals, and rubber products; it is known as “Colombia’s Manchester” because of its textile mills and clothing factories.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Medellin
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