MASAYA, the capital of the department of Masaya, Nicaragua, 13 m. W.N.W. of Lake Nicaragua and the city of Granada, on the eastern shore of Lake Masaya, and on the Granada-Managua railway. Pop. (1905), about 20,000. The city is built in the midst of a very fertile lowland region, which yields large quantities of tobacco. The majority of the inhabitants are Indians or half-castes. Lake Masaya occupies an extinct crater; the isolated volcano of Masaya (3000 ft.) on the opposite side of the lake was active at the time of the conquest of Nicaragua in 1522, and the conquerors, thinking the lava they saw was gold, had themselves lowered into the crater at the risk of their lives, The volcano was in eruption in 1670, 1782, 1857 and 1002.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)