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Sunday, 22 December 2013


Caracas was founded by the Spaniard, Diego de Losada, in 1567 as Santiago de León de Caracas, and was sacked by the English in 1595.

In 1777, Caracas became the capital of the Captaincy General of Venezuela.

Sketch of Caracas in 1812

The city was destroyed by earthquakes in 1755 and 1812.  During the fourth day of celebrating its 400th anniversary on July 29, 1967, Caracas was shaken by an earthquake, leaving approximately 500 dead.

The revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar was born in Caracas in 1783, and is buried in the Panteón Nacional here. Bolívar's home was destroyed by an earthquake, but has been reconstructed as a museum.

Venezuela's most venerated building, the National Pantheon of Venezuela,  is on the northern edge of the old town. Formerly a church, the building was given its new purpose as the final resting place for eminent Venezuelans by Antonio Guzmán Blanco in 1874.

Caracas is considered the most dangerous city in the world with a death every 21 minutes. The city’s murder rate is 119 homicides per 100,000 people (by comparison, it is 4.7 per 100,000 in the U.S., the most murderous Western developed nation.

Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2013. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.

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