1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Coro

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CORO, a small city and the capital of the state of Falcón, Venezuela, 7 m. W. of La Vela de Coro (its port on the Caribbean coast), with which it is connected by rail, and 199 m. W.N.W. of Carácas. Pop. (1904, estimate) 9500. Coro stands on a sandy plain between the Caribbean and the Gulf of Venezuela, and near the isthmus connecting the peninsula of Paraguaná with the mainland. Its elevation above sea-level is only 105 ft., and its climate is hot but not unhealthy. The city is badly built, its streets are unpaved, and it has no public buildings of note except two old churches. Its water-supply is derived from springs some distance away. Coro is the commercial centre for an extensive district on the E. side of Lake Maracaibo and the Gulf of Venezuela, which exports large quantities of goat-skins, an excellent quality of tobacco, and some coffee, cacao, castor beans, timber and dyewoods. It was founded in 1527 by Juan de Ampués, who gave to it the name of Santa Ana de Coriana (afterwards corrupted to Santa Ana de Coro) in honour of the day and of the tribe of Indians inhabiting this locality. It was also called Venezuela (little Venice) because of an Indian village on the gulf coast built on piles over the shallow water; this name was afterwards bestowed upon the province of which Coro was the capital. Coro was also made the chief factory of the Welsers, the German banking house to which Charles V. mortgaged this part of his colonial possessions, and it was the starting-point for many exploring and colonizing expeditions into the interior. It was made a bishopric in 1536, and for a time Coro was one of the three most important towns on the northern coast. The seat of government was removed to Carácas in 1578 and the bishopric five years later. Coro is celebrated in Venezuelan history as the scene of Miranda’s first attempt to free his country from Spanish rule. It suffered greatly in the war which followed.