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Guaduas

Guaduas is a town in Colombia, in the Lower Magdalena Province department of Cundinamarca, about 117 km from Bogotá. It is an agricultural and tourist center of some importance with a population of about 33,000. Its name refers to a variety of bamboo cane. It is one of the cities in the Bogotá-Medellín highway. Its main plaza is featured on the Colombian ten-thousand pesos bill, and is one of the seats of the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Dorada–GuaduasHistoryThe early inhabitants of the "Valley of the Guaduas" were the aboriginal Panche people. It was an important stop in the road from Santa Fe to Honda, located in a small, fertile valley. The town proper was founded on April 20, 1572 by Andrés Díaz Venero de Leiva. It was abandoned after its foundation until December 13, 1610, when Fray Tomas de Morales founded the Franciscan monastery of La Soledad on the same location. It was recognized officially as a villa on December 27, 1644 and formally re-founded by Francisco Pérez de Guzmán.In 1696, Guadas became a parish seat, thanks to a charter from King Charles II. The convent was closed around 1805. In 1809 Fray Domingo de Petres, a Capuchin architect who also directed the construction of the Cathedral of Bogotá, began building a church in the village. The original convent building was subsequently transformed into a prison by order of the Congress of Cucuta.
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