Bogotá (Spanish pronunciation: [boɣoˈta]), officially Bogotá, Distrito Capital, abbreviated Bogotá, D.C., and formerly known as Santafé/Santa Fé de Bogotá between 1991 and 2000, is the capital and largest city of Colombia, administered as the Capital District, although often erroneously thought of as part of Cundinamarca. Bogotá is a territorial entity of the first order, with the same administrative status as the departments of Colombia. It is the political, economic, administrative, industrial, artistic, cultural, and sports center of the country.
Bogotá was founded as the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada on August 6, 1538, by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada after a harsh expedition into the Andes conquering the Muisca. The Muisca were the indigenous inhabitants of the region and called the settlement where Bogotá was founded Bacatá, which in the Chibcha language means "The Lady of the Andes." Further, the word 'Andes' in the Aymara language means ...
"shining mountain," thus rendering the full lexical signification of Bogotá as "The Lady of the shining mountain." After the Battle of Boyacá on August 7, 1819, Bogotá became the capital of the independent nation of Gran Colombia. Since the Viceroyalty of New Granada's independence from the Spanish Empire and during the formation of present-day Colombia, Bogotá has remained the capital of this territory.
The city is located in the center of Colombia, on a high plateau known as the Bogotá savanna, part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense located in the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes. It is the third-highest capital in South America (after Quito and La Paz), at an average of 2,640 metres (8,660 ft) above sea level. Subdivided into 20 localities, Bogotá has an area of 1,587 square kilometres (613 square miles) and a relatively cool climate that is constant through the year.
The city is home to central offices of the executive branch (Office of the President), the legislative branch (Congress of Colombia) and the judicial branch (Supreme Court of Justice, Constitutional Court, Council of State and the Superior Council of Judicature) of the Colombian government. Bogotá stands out for its economic strength and associated financial maturity, its attractiveness to global companies and the quality of human capital. It is the financial and commercial heart of Colombia, with the most business activity of any city in the country. The capital hosts the main financial market in Colombia and the Andean natural region, and is the leading destination for new foreign direct investment projects coming into Latin America and Colombia. It has the highest nominal GDP in the country, contributing most to the national total (24.7%).
The city's airport, El Dorado International Airport, named after the mythical El Dorado, handles the largest cargo volume in Latin America, and is third in number of people. Bogotá is home to the largest number of universities and research centers in the country, and is an important cultural center, with many theaters, libraries and museums, of which the Museo del Oro is the most important,. Bogotá ranks 52nd on the Global Cities Index 2014, and is considered a global city type "Alpha −" by GaWC.