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La Mesa

Historic Sites
La Mesa is a municipality and town of Colombia in the department of Cundinamarca. The city is (62km from Bogotá.) The population is approx. 27,500.GeographyIts name comes from its geographical position, located on the top of a Plateau with an area of 4 km2 in the centre of the Cordillera Oriental mountains, HistoryBefore the Spaniards came to the Americas, the area was inhabited by the Panches Indians who were notable warriors.This town is famed for the Botanical Expedition on the New Kingdom of Granada which commenced from there in 1783 led by the biologist José Celestino Mutis. The expedition researched local fauna and flora. It was also an important trade centre during the 19th and part of the 20th century.Originally La Mesa was located a short distance from its present location and was known as Guayabal. But because of lack of water and too much mud, it was moved in 1777 by order of Pedro Messia de la Zerda, Manuel Guirior and Manuel Antonio Flórez, Spanish Viceroys. The town centre was located the Main Plaza (Downtown), next to the Carbonera river, today an underground river. The original location had 98 houses and nowadays is now known by the name of Dos Caminos, (Two Roads in Spanish).The population of La Mesa was part of the Independence from Spain movement. From there started the first military campaign of July 20 of 1810 independence revolution. Approximately 50 men and later 300 more went to Bogotá on the day after the declaration of independence to be part of the disposition of the Supreme Board of the independence. La Mesa became a training centre for army soldiers who fought for the independence cause. At La Mesa many heroes were trained, who later were killed defending their ideals by the Spanish troops, some were killed in the middle of the Main Plaza.
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