CUMANA, a city and port of Venezuela, capital of the state of Bermudez, situated on the Manzanares river about i m. above its mouth, 52 ft. above sea-level and 180 m. E. of Caracas. It is the oldest existing European settlement on the South American continent, having been founded by Diego Castellon in 1523 under the name of Nueva Toledo. The city was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake in 1766, and again in 1797. Slight shocks are very frequent, some of them severe enough to cause considerable damage to the buildings. The mean annual temperature is 83 F. and the climate is enervating. In colonial times the city was rich and prosperous and enjoyed a lucrative trade with the mother country, its population at that time being estimated at 30,000, but much of its prosperity has disappeared and its population is now estimated at 10,000. Excellent fruits are produced in its vicinity, and its exports include cacao, coffee, sugar, hides, tobacco and sundry products in small quantities. A. tramway connects the city with its port at the mouth of the Manzanares.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)