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Max Theodor Felix von Laue
Max Theodor Felix von Laue was a German physicist who won a Nobel Prize.
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Mérida is founded in Venezuela9.10.1558

Wikipedia (02 Oct 2013, 10:10)

Mérida, officially known as Santiago de los Caballeros de Mérida, 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 by Captain Juan Rodríguez Suárez, 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.

The capital city's population is 204,879 inhabitants and the metropolitan area, that includes the municipality of Libertador, reaches 345,489 people (Census 2001). The city accounts for 28% of the total population of Mérida State, which has more than 750,000 inhabitants (Census 2001). It is home to the University of Los Andes and the Archdiocese of Mérida. It also has the highest and longest cable car in the world. It is the largest student and tourist center of western Venezuela. The mass transit system (Trolebús Mérida) is available as a means of tourist transport.

This city sits on a tableland nestled in the valley of the Chama River, which runs from end to end. The town of Mérida is located at an altitude of 1,600 meters (5,249 ft). As background on the horizon rises the country's highest summit: the Pico Bolívar with an altitude of 4981 meters (16,338 ft).


Mérida was founded by Juan Rodríguez Suárez on October 9, 1558 in one of the Pamplonian mining expeditions he led. The first settlement of Mérida was not the current one but 30 kilometres (19 miles) to the south, in Xamú, where today stands Lagunillas. Nevertheless, in November 1559, Juan de Maldonado moved the settlement to nearby El Punto (presently the Zumba area), because of constant confrontations with the native neighbours.

Rodríguez Suárez's foundation had not been authorized by the New Granadian Authorities, so in 1560 they sent Juan de Maldonado to arrest Juan Rodríguez and regularize the new city. On June 24 Maldonado moved Mérida to its present location on the plateau and rechristened it as Santiago de los Caballeros. The city then came to be governed by the corregimiento of Tunja until 1607, when it became itself a corregimiento of the Audiencia of Santa Fe.

In 1622, Mérida became the capital of the Governorate of Mérida, whose chief official established his residence there. The city and territory were part of New Granada until 1777, when it was integrated into the Captaincy of Venezuela .

The city was elevated to the status of an episcopal see in 1785. This led to the creation of a seminary, which in 1811 became the University of the Andes.

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