1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ciudad Bolívar

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CIUDAD BOLÍVAR, an inland city and river port of Venezuela, capital of the state of Bolívar, on the right bank of the Orinoco river, 240 m. above its mouth. Pop. (1891) 11,686. It stands upon a small hill about 187 ft. above sea-level, and faces the river where it narrows to a width of less than half a mile. The city is largely built upon the hillside. It is the seat of the bishopric of Guayana (founded in 1790), and is the commercial centre of the great Orinoco basin. Among its noteworthy edifices are the cathedral, federal college, theatre, masonic temple, market, custom-house, and hospital. The mean temperature is 83°. The city has a public water-supply, a tramway line, telephone service, subfluvial cable communication with Soledad near the mouth of the Orinoco, where connexion is made with the national land lines, and regular steamship communication with the lower and upper Orinoco. Previous to the revolution of 1901–3 Ciudad Bolívar ranked fourth among the Venezuelan custom-houses, but the restrictions placed upon transit trade through West Indian ports have made her a dependency of the La Guaira custom-house to a large extent. The principal exports from this region include cattle, horses, mules, tobacco, cacáo, rubber, tonka beans, bitters, hides, timber and many valuable forest products. The town was founded by Mendoza in 1764 as San Tomás de la Nueva Guayana, but its location at this particular point on the river gave to it the popular name of Angostura, the Spanish term for “narrows.” This name was used until 1849, when that of the Venezuelan liberator was bestowed upon it. Ciudad Bolívar played an important part in the struggle for independence and was for a time the headquarters of the revolution. The town suffered severely in the struggle for its possession, and the political disorders which followed greatly retarded its growth.