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Armenia was founded on October 14, 1889, by Jesús María Ocampo, also known as Tigrero (or the “Tiger Killer”) because of his love of hunting jaguars (known locally as tigers). Ocampo came to Armenia, which is located on the Río Quindío, looking for shelter in the mountains of Quindío. He paid 100 pesos in gold coins for land on which to build a trade center, not only for himself but also for other colonists from Antioquia, Manizales and areas surrounding the river. He proceeded to sell land for settlement. Six months after its founding, in August of 1890, Armenia had reached a population of 100 people, allowing it to gain legal recognition by the government. The city became known as Armenia to honor the people murdered in the Hamidian massacres of 1894-96.

Armenia’s enviable geographical location at 1,500 meters (4,921 ft) above sea level, next to two rivers, and within five hours from the country’s three largest cities (Bogotá, Medellín and Cali), made it a commercial hub during the 1900s, especially when the city welcomed train and car transportation in the late 1920s. In January of 1999, Armenia experienced a devastating earthquake that left 200,000 people homeless. However, international aid quickly brought modern buildings to the city, including a modern bus terminal and a pedestrian mall in the center of town. A collection of gold that is often regarded as the best in the country is located in northern Armenia at the Museo del Oro Quimbaya.


Other places nearby Armenia: Pereira, Pijao, Manizales and Salento.

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Things to do in Armenia

Museo del Oro Quimbaya

121003The most impressive permanent gold collection in the Zona Cafetera is found at the northern edge of Armenia on the way to Salento and Pereira. This museum is the primary reason travelers pass through ...
Armenia, Colombia

Pedestrian Mall

There is plenty of shopping along Avenida BolĂ­var (or Cra. 14), where you can walk a dozen blocks down a pedestrian walkway that extends from Plaza BolĂ­var (cross street: Ca. 21) to the hospital ...
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Armenia, Colombia
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