CARACAS, the principal city and the capital of the United States of Venezuela, situated at the western extremity of an elevated valley of the Venezuelan Coast Range known as the plain of Chacao, 62 m.
Two miles north-east is the famous Silla de Caracas, whose twin summits, like a gigantic old-fashioned saddle (silla), rise to an elevation of 8622 ft.; and the Naiguete, still farther eastward, overlooks the valley from a height of 9186 ft.
The climate of Caracas is often described as that of perpetual spring.
The archbishop of Venezuela resides in Caracas and has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the dioceses of Ciudad Bolivar, Calabozo, Barquisimeto, Merida and Maracaibo.
Caracas was founded in 1567 by Diego de Losada under the pious title of Santiago de Leon de Caracas, and has been successively capital of the province of Caracas, of the captaincygeneral of Caracas and Venezuela, and of the republic of Venezuela.
Among the most famous were the expedition undertaken by Diego de Ordaz, whose lieutenant Martinez claimed to have been rescued from shipwreck, conveyed inland, and entertained at Omoa by "El Dorado" himself (1531); and the journeys of Orellana (1540-1541), who passed down the Rio Napo to the valley of the Amazon; that of Philip von Hutten (1541-1545), who led an exploring party from Coro on the coast of Caracas; and of Gonzalo Ximenes de Quesada (1569), who started from Santa Fe de Bogota.
On the 9th of December 1905 protocols were signed at Caracas accepting the line between Cucuhy and the Serra Cupuy located in 1880, and referring the remainder, which had been located by a Brazilian commission in 1882 and 1884, to a mixed commission for verification.
Above Caracas the highest peak of the system, Silla de Caracas, rises to 8531 ft.
Of Caracas; the Yaracui, Aroa and Tocuyo to the same coast W.
Of Caracas; and the Motatan, Chama, Escalante, Catatumbo, Apan and Palmar, which discharge into Lake Maracaibo.
In the Maritime Andes at and above the altitude of Caracas it may be described as semitropical, and in the still higher regions of western Venezuela it approaches the mild temperate.
At La Guaira the mean temperature for the year is 85° F., at Caracas (3025 ft.) it is 71.2° (or 66.2° according to an official return), at Cumana it is 83°, at Valencia 76°, Coro 82°, Barquisimeto 78°, Yaritagua 80 6°, Merida 61°, Trujillo 72°,72°, and Maracaibo 81°.
At Caracas the annual rainfall ranged from 602 to 863 millimetres between 1894 and 1902.
Under the constitution of the 27th of April 1904, the republic was divided into 13 states, 1 federal district and 5 territories, the names of which are as follows, those of the capital cities being given in brackets: Federal District (Caracas and La Asuncion); Aragua (La Victoria); Bermudez (Cumana); Bolivar (Ciudad Bolivar); Carabobo (Valencia); Falcon (Coro); Guarico (Calabozo); Lara (Barquisimeto); Merida (Merida); Miranda (Ocumare); Tachira (San Cristobal); Trujillo (Trujillo); Zamora (San Carlos); Zulia (Maracaibo), with the following territories: Amazonas (San Fernando de Atabapo); Colon (Gran Roque);; Cristobal Colon (Cristobal Colon); Delta-Amacuro (San Jose de Amacuro); Yaruari (Guacipati).
The division was as follows: Federal District (Caracas); Anzoategui (Barcelona); Apure (San Fernando de Apure); Aragua (La Victoria); Bolivar (Ciudad Bolivar); Carabobo (Valencia); Cojedes (San Carlos); Falcon (Coro); Guarico (Calabozo); Lara (Barquisimeto); Merida (Merida); Miranda (Ocumare); Monagas (M'Iaturin); Nueva Esparta (La Asuncion); Portuguesa (Guanare); Sucre (Cumana); Tachira (San Cristobal); Trujillo (Trujillo); Yaracuy (San Felipe); Zamora (Barinas); Zulia (Maracaibo), with the following territories: Amazonas (San Fernando de Atabapo); Delta-Amacuro (Tucupita).
In 1908 there were only 13 railway lines with a mileage of about 540 m., including the short lines from Caracas to El Valle and La Guaira to Maiquetia and Macuto, and the La Vela and Coro.
The longest of these is the German line from Caracas to Valencia (111 m.), and the next longest the Great Tachira, running from Encontrada on Lake Maracaibo inland to Uraca (71 m.), with a projected extension to San Cristobal.
The best known of the Venezuelan railways is the short line from La Guaira to Caracas (224 m.), which scales the steep sides of the mountain behind La Guaira and reaches an elevation of 3135 ft.
The best cacau comes from the vicinity of Caracas and is marketed under that name.
From Caracas, one at Merida, and the third at San Cristobal, Tachira.
The plants using steam for motive power are at Caracas, Maracaibo, Valencia and Puerto Cabello.
The Federal District is the seat of federal authority, "and consists of a small territory surrounding Caracas and La Guaira, known in the territorial division of 1904 as the West district, and the island of Margarita and some neighbouring islands, known as the East district.
There is a military academy at Caracas, and battalion schools are provided for officers and privates, but they are of little value.
The universities are at Caracas and Merida, the latter known as the Universidad de los Andes.
The Caracas institution dates from early colonial times and numbers many prominent Venezuelans among its alumni.
In addition to these, there are normal, polytechnic, mining and agricultural schools, the last at Caracas and provided with a good library and museum.
The Church hierarchy consists of one archbishop (Caracas) and four suffragan bishops (Merida, Guayana, Barquisimeto and Guarico).
The public revenues are derived from customs taxes and charges on imports and exports, transit taxes, cattle taxes, profits on coinage, receipts from state monopolies, receipts from various public services such as the post office, telegraph, Caracas waterworks, &c., and sundr y taxes, fines and other sources.
Paper currency is issued by the banks of Venezuela, Caracas and Maracaibo under the provisions of a general banking law, and their notes, although not legal tender, are everywhere accepted at their face value.
In 1550 the territory was erected into the captain-generalcy of Caracas, and it remained under Spanish rule till the early part of the 19th century.
A war ensued which lasted for upwards of ten years and the principal events of which are described under Bolivar, a native of Caracas and the leading spirit of the revolt.
Statues of Blanco, which had been erected in various places in the city of Caracas, were broken by the mob, and wherever a portrait of the dictator was found it was torn to pieces.
The news of this message caused violent agitation in Caracas and other towns.
In his absence a rising against the dictator took place at Caracas, and his adherents were seized and imprisoned.
Orsi de Mombello, Venezuela y sus riquezas (Caracas, 1890); H.
Of American Republics] (Washington, 1904); F, Vizcarrondo Rojas, Resena Geografica de Venezuela (Caracas, 1895); R.
Wood, Venezuela: Two Years on the Spanish Main (London); and the Anuario estadistico de los Estados Unidos de Venezuela (Caracas); Diplomatic and Consular Reports.
SIMON BOLIVAR (1783-1830), the hero of South American independence, was born in the city of Caracas, Venezuela, on the 24th of July 1783.
Toro, uncle of the marquis of Toro in Caracas, and embarked with her for Venezuela, intending, it is said, to devote himself to the improvement of his large estate.
Being one of the promoters of the insurrection at Caracas in April 18ro, he received a colonel's commission from the revolutionary junta, and was associated with Louis Lopez Mendez in a mission to the court of Great Britain.
Forming his increased forces into two divisions, he committed the charge of one to his colleague Rivas, and pushing on for Caracas the capital, issued his decree of "war to the death."
Caracas was entered in triumph on the 4th of August 1813, and Monteverde took refuge in Puerto Cabello.
Caracas was retaken by the Spaniards in July; and before the end of the year 1814 the royalists were again the undisputed masters of Venezuela.
On the 29th of June 1821 Bolivar entered Caracas, and by the close of the year the Spaniards were driven from every part of the province except Puerto Cabello.
But Paez, who commanded in Venezuela, having been accused of arbitrary conduct in the enrolment of the citizens of Caracas in the militia, refused obedience to the summons of the senate, and placed himself in a state of open rebellion against the government, being encouraged by a disaffected party in the northern departments who desired separation from the rest of the republic.
He had then a friendly meeting with Paez and soon after entered Caracas, where he fixed his headquarters, in order to check the northern departments, which had been the principal theatre of the disturbances.
His remains were removed in 1842 to Caracas, where a monument was erected to his memory; a statue was put up in Bogota in 1846; in 1858 the Peruvians followed the example by erecting an equestrian statue of the liberator in Lima; and in 1884 a statue was erected in Central Park, New York.
Twenty-two volumes of official documents bearing on Bolivar's career were officially published at Caracas in 1826-1833.
West-south-west of Caracas near the north-east shore of Lake Valencia.
The last two towns are on the railway between Caracas and Valencia.