|Nickname(s): "Miracle City"|
|Motto: "Trabajo y Civilización" (work and civilization)|
|• Total||140 km2 (50 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,551 m (5,089 ft)|
|• Density||2,100/km2 (5,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Eastern Time Zone (UTC-05)|
|Area code(s)||57 + 6|
|Website||Official website (Spanish)|
Armenia (Spanish pronunciation: [arˈmenja]) is the capital of Quindío, a department in Colombia. The city is located at coordinates 4.5170° north, 75.6830° west, 290 kilometres west of Bogotá. Armenia is a mid-size city located between Bogotá, Medellín and Cali, the 3 largest Colombian cities. The city's area code for telephone calls is 67. Its average temperature is between 18–22 °C (64–72 °F). Raipur, India is the latest to become a sister city of Armenia (see list of twin towns and sister cities). It's one of the three that forms the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis.
Armenia was recognized as the most influential city in South America due to its large variety of flowers and coffee. The town has the privilege of having an important aerospacial engineer named Jose Sara Henry Gomez. Also the city was founded on October 14, 1889 by Jesús María Ocampo, also known as "Tigrero" (translates to "tiger killer") due to his love of hunting jaguars, known locally as tigers. Ocampo came from Anaime, Tolima, looking for shelter in the mountains of Quindío since he was running away from General Gallo. He paid one hundred pesos in gold coins to Antonio Herrera for the land in which to build a fonda, or trade center, not only for himself but also for other colonists who calme from Salento, Antioquia, Manizales and areas surrounding the Quindío River and La Vieja River. Ocampo then proceeded to sell land for settlement. To encourage settlement, Ocampo returned to Anaime to ask for the help of his friend Juan de la Cruz Cardona, and to marry thirteen year-old Arsenia Cardona. Six months after its founding, in August 1890, Armenia had reached a population of 100 people, allowing it to gain legal recognition by the government. The city was initially called Villa Holguín, in honor of Carlos Holguín Mallarino, the then-current president of the country. It is believed the name was changed to Armenia after a place of the same name, in memory of the Armenian people murdered in the Turkish Ottoman Hamidian Massacres of 1894-97 in Western Armenia. It is also known by its nickname "Ciudad Milagro" (Miracle city).
Despite Armenia's quickly expanding economy at the time, the means of transport were still very limited. The main form of transporting people and merchandise was by mule, due to the mountainous terrain surrounding the city. It was not until the construction of the first asphalt road in 1927 to Zarzal in the Cauca river valley that transport was improved.
Nowadays, the city combines its contemporary development with the all traditional ways of its forefathers' heritage, like the historic Liberator Pathway, the path used by Colombia's 19th century Liberator Simon Bolívar to move his army between the west of the country and Santa Fe de Bogotá during his successful independence campaign from Spain, currently one of the top two tourist destinations in Colombia.
It is estimated that a large earthquake, approximately 6-7 in magnitude, will hit this area every 20 years due to high seismic activity. It can be explained by the Galapagos Triple Junction that occurs at the northwest corner of the South American Plate where the Nazca, Cocos, and Pacific plates converge.
On Monday, January 25, 1999, an ML = 5.9 earthquake occurred in Quindío. The epicenter was located 17 km south of Armenia. The earthquake was one of the most devastating events to have occurred in Colombia in recent history and its economic and social impacts will be felt for a long time in Armenia and other cities close to the epicenter. Armenia was the hardest hit city; at least one thousand people were killed and over 50% of its 270,000 population were displaced. The approximate peak ground acceleration was 0.5-0.55 g in Armenia (recorded in soil). Poor soils and the prevalent unreinforced masonry infill wall construction were responsible for most of the casualties and damage.
The city of Armenia is located 290 kilometers southwest of Bogota at a height of 1,483 m., Geographical coordinates, the following: 4.3270 ° north latitude 75.4120 ° west longitude. It has an area of 121 km2 (47 sq mi). It limits the north with the municipalities of Circassia and Salento, west to the town of Montenegro, east to the town of Calarcá and south with the municipality of La Tebaida. Armenia is situated close to the center Coordillera about 35 km (22 mi) from the top of the line. The climate of the city of Armenia is varied, the average temperature ranges between 18 ° and 21 °C.
Armenia is often referred to as "Ciudad Milagro" (Miracle City) due to its fast urban growth and development. The local economy main trade is still based on the production of coffee, plantains, and bananas. To the south of the city as it gets closer to sea level, the temperature favours not only Quindio's agricultural economy, but a renewed tourist industry in the shape of villas for rent, theme parks, eco-hoteles and family day leisure centres, not excluding all-time favourites like local cuisine restaurants, exhibition centres and country clubs specialising in fishing, tennis, golf, cart racing and other sports. Many traditional plantations still exist in the surrounding area and many offer bed and breakfast accommodation and "ecotourism" packages. The city has a modern international airport El Edén International Airport with daily links to Bogotá, Cartagena de Indias, Medellín and Fort Lauderdale which make the city a convenient choice for conferences, meetings, business and social events.
Armenia is part of the program "friendly cities" which seeks to improve the quality and service in urban transport in major urban centers of the country.
The city of Armenia implements its program called strategic public transport system, which is a program that advances the town hall by Friendly Company, an industrial and commercial entity been created to manage project resources.
The Strategic Public Transport System comes from the national strategy Gracious Cities National Development Plan which aims to improve the provision of public transport in intermediate cities of less than 400,000 inhabitants. It results from a national urban transport program established in 3167 CONPES of May 23, 2002 and responds to the need to establish a system that structures and allow better management of the city.
Thanks to the union of the three main utilities urban city (Armenia Buses, Urban Transport and Cooburquin City Miracle, new company was formed transport operator in the city, called RED (Integrated Transport Operator of Armenia), the showing its citizens a new image, whose main characteristic, coffee, icon of the city and the department.
The urban transport project in the city's main features:
- Tracks and platforms:
- Construction of 5 miles of roads in different parts of the city, and the rehabilitation of 32 kilometers. - Adaptation and Construction of 34 miles of sidewalks in the downtown.
- Stops, Terminals and stations Route:
- Besides the normal bus stops will be built with public space nine stops, chairs, bathrooms and commercial modules. Sites will be located in the highest concentration of users and will have information needed to publicize the arrival time of the routes. These stops with public space are:
-Avenida 19 and Calle 22. -Avenida 19 and Calle 16. Secret-Viewpoint. Tourist-Terminal. -Hospital San Juan de Dios. Coffee-Colosseum. Glorieta-Sinai. -Calle 50 Villa Claudia. -South Hospital.
- We also have in this new system, terminals map, which are:
Route-terminal Pavona Route-terminal Façade / Puerto Espejo. -Mirador de La Secreta. Tourist-Terminal. Gibraltar-Terminal Road. -International Airport Terminal Road Eden.
- We also find exchange stations; sites ready for passengers traveling from neighboring cities to and from Armenia transport change. These stations are:
-West station, Calle 30, Sector Mercar. -North Station, The Porch.
-Other features of the integrated public transport in Armenia:
-The lights were identified to a network that identifies their status in real time and from a central will know if they are working properly or if any signs of damage to correct promptly.
-The routes, destinations and urban bus routes will be reorganized according to the needs of the population. These changes will be made in stages to facilitate the process of adaptation of users.
-Users will be able to pay your fare with cash or through a rechargeable smart card, looking for comfort.
-People with disabilities will have adapted to their needs buses shuttle. The bus companies create special services to serve this population.
RED-The joint venture will ensure the smooth operation of the public transport system of the city.
The process implementations of this system ended in 2012.
- 'Armenia Transportation Terminal'
Part of this information is captured, is taken from Armenia Friendly program, the website of the Mayor of the City
Tourism and Folklore
The renewed tourist industry has activated the popularity of the city and its surrounding areas. The region's northern area is the gateway to Los Nevados national park, where the highest peaks in central Colombia rise to perpetual snows at more than 4,500 metres. At the Quindio side of the foothills of this national park, lays the magnificent Cocora valley, where the National Tree of Colombia, the wax palm grows, and whose municipality of Salento is a top tourist destination famous for its culinary delicacy (fried river trout), for its guadua crafts and furniture (the strong native bamboo cane), its art galleries and its fame for being the bohemian centre of regional artists. Tourists and hikers walk from here to reach the spectacular views of the park.
The county's folklore is rich and is represented throughout events and traditions visible during most of its towns festivities to name a few:
The Yipao (Parade of Jeeps): After World War II Armenia was given imported general purpose Jeeps vehicles so that they may be used for the difficult paths. However, these old vehicles have been also adopted into a traditional parade carrying oversized loads of coffee, local agriculture products and people.
The Chapoleras beauty pageant, with costumes depicting the traditional coffee harvesting dress in the fashion of late 19th century, and the various popular dances is widely known in the entire country.
Each fall, La Asociacion Quindiana de Orquideologia hosts a large orchid show, open to the public. This includes local judging by Colombian judges and often international judging by the American Orchid Society. In 2011, the show will be held on Oct. 6-9, at Coorporacion Autonoma Regional del Quindio (CRQ).
The city is certainly a cultural centre, right in the heart of the coffee region. Due to its pleasant weather, and beautiful vistas, middle-class people from neighbouring areas are quietly buying up luxurious properties left behind after the cocaine era.
Among the many attractions in the region, Colombian National Coffee Park, a theme park dedicated to the meticulous process of growing coffee and bringing it to the table for enjoyment is a major landmark. The park has all sorts of attractions for all ages.
PANACA, also a theme park, is an agricultural centre. At Panaca, tourists get in touch with nature. Animals, and crops commonly seen in the region interact in a personal manner with tourists. It is a great chance for people to learn and enjoy agriculture and get in touch with all sorts of animals seen in Colombia's agricultural areas.
Art and handcrafts
This region was widely known in the country in the early 20th century for the production of storage receptacles made of the empty dried shell of the fruit of a local species of inedible bottle gourd, the "Cuyabra" or "totumo", which gives the demonym of "cuyabros" to the people born in this city. Nowadays, this recipients are no longer mass-produced to practical purposes, since the cheaper materials such plastics displaced them from the market, but these traditional receptacles are still produced and hand-painted.
The Carriel is a traditional handbag leather handcraft symbolic of the paisa culture and the early antioquian colonisation. It is often used in the typical dances and parades, and its miniature version is sold to tourists as souvenir. The cabuya hancrafts are often seen.
The bamboo guadua is widely used in creation of artcrafts, furniture and buildings.
Education and Sports
The main sports centre in the city is the Centenario Stadium, where local sporting events can be seen, including national and international soccer tournaments. Other sport events are bullfighting, golf, swimming and cycling. The highly varied geography surrounding Armenia has helped create some of the greatest climbing cyclists in the world, many of whom compete internationally in events such as the Tour de France.
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