Guatemala City, locally known as Guatemala or Guate, officially Ciudad de Guatemala, is the capital and largest city of Guatemala, and the most populous urban area in Central America. The city is located in the south-central part of the country, nestled in a mountain valley called Valle de la Ermita. It is estimated that its population is about 1 million. Guatemala City is also the capital of the Municipality of Guatemala and of the Guatemala Department.
Guatemala City is the site of the Mayan city of Kaminaljuyu, founded around 1500 BC. Following the Spanish conquest, a new town was established, and in 1776 it was made capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala. In 1821, Guatemala City was the scene of the declaration of independence of Central America from Spain, after which it became the capital of the newly established United Provinces of Central America. In 1847, Guatemala declared itself an independent republic, with Guatemala City as its capital. The city was originally located in what is now Antigua Guatemala, and was moved to its current location in 1777. Guatemala City and the original location in Antigua Guatemala were almost completely destroyed by the 1917–18 earthquakes.