Online Encyclopedia

SANTA MARTA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 189 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SANTA MARTA, a city and port of Colombia and the capital of a department of the same name, on a small bay 40 M. E.N.E. of the mouth of the Magdalena river. Pop. (1908) about 65oo. It is built partly on the beach and partly on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta towards the S.E. Though small, the harbour is one of the best and safest on the coast, as no river flows into it to fill its anchorage with silt. The depth ranges from 18 to 19 fathoms at the entrance to 42 fathoms along the inner shore line. The city is an episcopal see and has a cathedral. A railway (23 m.) runs southward a little beyond Cienaga (on a large lagoon of the same name), connects with steamers running to Barranquilla (50 M. farther) by way of the lagoon and inland channels, and is to be extended to San Carlos, farther S., as the fruit-growing industry of this region is developed. Santa Marta was founded by Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1525, and became an important port and centre of trade during the Spanish colonial era. It was also a base of operations in the exploration and conquest of the interior.
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