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San Salvador is the capital and largest city of the nation of El Salvadormarker. It is the third most populous city in Central America; after Guatemala Citymarker and Managuamarker. The metro covers an area of 568 km² (220 sq mi) and is home to nearly 1.6 million people. Home to one-half of El Salvador's wealth, the city's per capita GDP - PPP is approximately USD11,200, compared to a national average of USD5,260 (2002).The city has a long history, with origins dating back to the Spanish conquest of the Pipil tribes. [9123] The name of the capital city is the Spanish name of "Holy Savior."


The origins of the city can be traced to before the Spanish Conquest. It is near the present location of San Salvador that the Pipil groups, established their capital, Cuscatlán. Not much is known about this city, since it was abandoned by its inhabitants in an effort to avoid Spanish rule.

Under the orders of Pedro de Alvarado, Gonzalo de Alvarado and Diego de Holgiun were ordered to take the settlement they found and develop it. Diego de Holgiun became the first mayor of San Salvador after the town was founded on April 1, 1525. However, later in the sixteenth century, it was rebuilt and changed locations twice in 1528 and 1545. Originally founded in what is now the archaeological site Ciudad Vieja, north of the present-day city, it was moved to the Valle de Las Hamacas or the Acelhuate Valley, named so due to the intense seismic activity that characterizes it. The new site was chosen as it had more space and more fertile land, thanks to the pristine (though now extremely polluted) Acelhuate River. As the population of the country remained relatively small up until the early twentieth century, the city grew very slowly.

On December 4, 1931, after a coup president Arturo Araujo was ousted by the military. As the Times Magazine says, the military were not paid their salary for some months and decided to revolt installing a Military Directorate. The Directorate named then Vice-president Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez as president and Araujo went to exile. This was the beginning of the Military Dictatorship that lasted from 1931 to 1979.

In 1964, the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) won the Mayor elections with Engineer Jose Napoleon Duarte, he was elected freely because the president Adalberto Rivera let democracy happen in mayoralties and the National Assembly elections. Jose Napoleon Duarte was Mayor in San Salvador from 1964 to 1970. He built the Pancho Lara park in Vista Hermosa neighborhood, renewed the Electricity System in the capital. He also started the Evening Adult Schools helping a lot of adult workers study during evenings and this helped a lot in getting new technicians.

In 1975, there was a massacre of university students on 25th Avenue by the Military during protests.

In San Salvador we can find the tombs of many famous Salvadorean presidents: Matias Delgado and Manuel Jose Arce (La Merced Church), Francisco Morazan and Gerardo Barrios (Los Ilustres Cemetery), Jose Napoleon Duarte (Jardines del Recuerdo Cemetery).


The city's altitude averages 560 meters above sea level. It is located by valley among the foothills of the Quezaltepecmarker, or San Salvador, volcano. In fact, the valley got its nickname from the Spaniards who called the area "El Valle de las Hamacas" (The Valley of the Hammocks) due to its constant seismic activity. Just East of the city, lies Lake Illopango, the largest lake in the nation.


San Salvador is mainly hot, the coolest months being November through February. The temperature varies widely between midday and midnight, due to changing levels of humidity throughout the day. The highest reading ever recorded in San Salvador was , the lowest was . The highest dew point was and the lowest . San Salvador has two seasons: rainy and dry. The dry season lasts from October through March, and the rainy From April through September.
San Salvador from space, January 1997


Grupo TACA, the national airline of El Salvador and other Central American countries, has its headquarters in San Salvador.


Approximately 89% of the population are mestizos (mix of indigenous and European ancestry), 9% are white, and the rest are indigenous and other small ethnic groups, including Chinese, Jewish and Arabs.



San Salvador was first served by Ilopango International Airportmarker, but in January 31, 1980, Ilopango was substituted by the bigger El Salvador International Airportmarker which took all the International flights. In 2008 the airport served over six million people, far more than it is made to handle. Plans for a bigger more modern airport, are currently being planned.


Boulevard de Los Próceres

The city offers the widest boulevards in Central America and is served by a railroad that connects to other cities such as Soyapangomarker and Apopamarker. The main language is Spanish.The railroads were closed down due to poor economic wealth.


San Salvador has some famous private Evangelical high schools such as: Colegio Bautista, Liceo Cristiano Juan Bueno. Also there are Catholic private high schools such as: Liceo Salvadoreño, Externado San Jose, Colegio La Asuncion and other Non-religious such as Escuela Americana and Garcia Flamenco.

San Salvador is home to many higher education institutions. The only public University in the country is Universidad de El Salvador.Other private universities, like Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas and Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado, two of the best universities in Central America, are located in the capital city.


See also: Great San Salvador Earthquakemarker
The city has suffered from severe earthquakes over the years, the most disastrous of which occurred in 1854. Also worthy of mentioning is the 1917 eruption of the San Salvador volcano, which resulted in three major earthquakes and damaged the city so extensively that the government was forced to move the capital to the present-day city of Santa Tecla, then named Nueva San Salvador. The most recent earthquake, in 2001, resulted in considerable damage, especially in Las Colinas suburb where a landslide destroyed homes and killed many people.

During the 1980s, conflicts in El Salvador erupted into a civil war, and many people fled to the city since most of the fighting occurred outside of it (San Salvador itself was not directly affected by the war until the final offensive of 1989). Hurricanes and landslides also pose a threat.


Roman Catholicism plays a prominent role in San Salvador. National hero, Oscar Romero was the city's archbishop. La Fiesta de Agosto, celebrate El Salvador del Mundo, which the city was named after. The archbishop of El Salvador is José Luis Escobar Alas. .


San Salvador is a rich cultural city, with many places such as the historical centre or downtown, which enmarks some of the most beautiful architectures in town. One of the main historical places of the capital city is the National Theatre. Recently remodelled, it was originally built in 1866. The National Palace keeps its original front, and combines neoclassic, neogothics and renaissance architectural details on its structure.[9124].

San Salvador also has other cultural places such as the El Salvador´s Art Museum (Museo de Arte de El Salvador, MARTE), the National Museum David J. Guzmán, the Luis Poma´s Theatre, and the museum for kids Tin Marin. [9125], among others.


Gallery of San Salvador

Image:Great_San_Salvador.JPG|Greater San Salvador, seen from the Quetzaltepecmarker volcanoImage:North_San_Salvador.JPG|Northwest San SalvadorImage:Catedral de San Salvador.jpg|The new Metropolitan CathedralImage:Salvadordelmundo.jpg|Monumento al Salvador del Mundo (Monument to the Savior of the World)Image:Revolution_Monument_San_Salvador.JPG|Monument to the RevolutionImage:Nattheatre.jpg|National Theatre in San Salvador downtownImage:Five_Star_Hotel_San_Salvador.JPG|Five star Hilton Hotel in zona rosaImage:Office_Buildings_San_Salvador.JPG|Office buildings near the 'Salvador del Mundo'

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