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|Nickname(s): La Tierra Donde Nace El Sol, Primogénita del Continente Americano
(English):"The land where the sun rises, Firstborn of the American Continent")
|• Mayor||Rafael Acuña|
|• Total||598 km2 (231 sq mi)|
|Elevation||43 m (141 ft)|
Cumaná (Spanish pronunciation: [kumaˈna], 824,764 inhabitants) is the capital of Venezuela's Sucre State. It is located 402 kilometres (250 mi) east of Caracas. Cumaná was one of the first settlements founded by Europeans in mainland America and is the oldest continuously-inhabited, European-established settlement in the continent. Attacks by indigenous peoples meant it had to be refounded several times.
The city, located at the mouth of the Manzanares River on the Caribbean coast in the Northeast coast of Venezuela, is home to one of five campuses of the Universidad de Oriente and a busy maritime port, home of one of the largest tuna fleets in Venezuela. The city is close to Mochima National Park a popular tourist beaches destination amongst Venezuelans.
The city of Cumaná saw the birth of key heroes of and contributors to the Venezuelan independence movement: Antonio Jose de Sucre, the ‘Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho’, a leading general and President of Bolivia; as well as Brigadier General D. Juan Francisco Echeto. Cumaná is also the birthplace to eminent poets, writers and politicians like Andrés Eloy Blanco, an important figure in Latin-American literature and who later rose to the national political scene; as well as José Antonio Ramos Sucre, another distinguished poet and diplomat. Important scientists including Pehr Löefling from Sweden, Alexander von Humboldt from Germany and Aimé Bonpland from France did part of their experimental works and discoveries when visiting and living in Cumaná in the XVIII century. The city is also home to a Toyota plant, which manufactures the Hilux and Toyota Fortuner.
Cumaná was the first settlement founded by Europeans in Venezuela in 1515 by Franciscan friars, with the name of Nueva Toledo, but due to successful attacks by the indigenous people (such as the Cumanagoto people), it had to be refounded several times until Diego Hernández de Serpa's refoundation in 1569 with the name of Cumaná. Bartolomé de las Casas, attempting a peaceful colonization scheme, was pre-empted by Gonzalo de Ocampo's 1521 punitive raids against the local indigenous people, in retaliation for the destruction of the Dominican convent at Chiribichi. In 1537 New Andalusia Province was established, with Cumaná as capital (for which the Province was also known as the Province of Cumaná).
After Amerindian attacks became less of a threat, the city was on several occasions destroyed by earthquakes. Thus the oldest part of the city is late 17th and 18th century; almost none of the 16th century architecture survived.
The city features a wide variety of colonial style architecture that is still in excellent condition. A large old Spanish fort, the Castillo de San Antonio de la Eminencia (Castle of Saint Anthony of the Eminence) can be seen from the beach, which is still open to the public. Also surviving is the Castillo de Santa Maria de la Cabeza, which was built in 1669. The Museo del Mar displays marine and maritime artifacts.
Notable people from Cumaná
- Iñaki Anasagasti (b. 1947), Spanish politician, member of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV)
- Rafael Betancourt (b. 1975), relief pitcher for Colorado Rockies
- Andrés Eloy Blanco (1897–1955), poet, humorist and politician
- Antonio José de Sucre (1795–1830), South American independence leader
- Armando Galarraga (b. 1982), starting pitcher for Detroit Tigers
- César Jiménez (b. 1984), left-handed relief pitcher for Seattle Mariners
- Luis Maza (b. 1980), shortstop for Los Angeles Dodgers
- Vanessa Peretti (b. 1986), first deaf entrant in the Miss Venezuela pageant
- Francisco Sánchez (b. 1976), butterfly and freestyle swimmer
- Jesús Sucre (b. 1988), catcher for Seattle Mariners
- José Antonio Ramos Sucre (1890–1930), poet and diplomat
- Moises Pino (1984 - ), billionaire
A traditional fisherman's boat called a "peñero" at Mochima National Park
- Krzysztof Dydniski & Charlotte Beech, Lonely Planet Venezuela, (2004)
- Media related to Cumaná at Wikimedia Commons