Latacunga - Encyclopedia




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LATACUNGA (LLACTACUNGA, or, in local parlance, Tacunga), a plateau town of Ecuador, capital of the province of Leon, 46 m. S. of Quito, near the confluence of the Alagues and Cutuchi to form the Patate, the headstream of the Pastaza. Pop. (1900, estimate) 12,000, largely Indian. Latacunga stands on the old road between Guayaquil and Quito and has a station on the railway between those cities. It is 9141 ft. above sea-level; and its climate is cold and unpleasant, owing to the winds from the neighbouring snowclad heights, and the barren, pumicecovered table-land on which it stands. Cotopaxi is only 25 m. distant, and the town has suffered repeatedly from eruptions. Founded in 1534, it was four times destroyed by earthquakes between 1698 and 1798. The neighbouring ruins of an older native town are said to date from the Incas.

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