|Santiago de los Caballeros de Mérida|
|Nickname(s): Ciudad de los Caballeros
(City of Gentlemen)
|Motto(s): Non potest civitas abscondi
supra montem posita
(A city on a hill cannot be hidden
|Founded||October 9, 1558|
|• Mayor||Léster Rodríguez|
|• Total||25 km2 (10 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,630 m (5,350 ft)|
|• Density||8,000/km2 (20,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||VST (UTC-4:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC-4:30)|
Santiago de los Caballeros de Mérida, Venezuela, is the capital of the municipality of Libertador and the state of Mérida, and is one of the principal cities of the Venezuelan Andes. It was founded in 1558, forming part of Nueva Granada, but later became part of the Captaincy General of Venezuela, and played an active role in the War of Independence.
Mérida has more than 200,000 inhabitants and a metropolitan area containing some 350,000 people. It is the main center for education and tourism in western Venezuela, the home of the prestigious University of the Andes, and the location of the highest and second longest aerial tramway in the world.
Mérida is at an altitude of approximately 1,600 meters (5,249 ft). The city sits on a plain in the valley of the Chama river, which runs from one end to the other. The backdrop of Mérida's skyline is the country's highest summit, Pico Bolívar.
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