Spanish discovery of the valley

Marshal Jorge Robledo

In August 1541, Marshal Jorge Robledo was in the place known today as Heliconia when he saw in the distance what he thought was a valley. He sent Jerónimo Luis Tejelo to explore the territory, and during the night of August 23 Tejelo reached the plain of what is now Aburrá Valley. The Spaniards gave it the name of "Valley of Saint Bartholomew", but this was soon changed for the native name Aburrá, meaning "Painters", due to the textile decorations of the natives.[13]

In 1574, Gaspar de Rodas asked the Antioquia's Cabildo for four square miles (10 km2) of land to establish herds and a ranch in the valley. The Cabildo granted him three miles (4.8 km) of land.

In 1616, the colonial visitor Francisco de Herrera y Campuzano founded a settlement with 80 Amerindians, naming it "Poblado de San Lorenzo," today "El Poblado Square". In 1646 a colonial law ordered the separation of Amerindians from mestizos and mulattos, so the colonial administration began the construction of a new town in Aná, today Berrío Park, where the church of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Aná ("Our Lady of Candelaria of Aná") was built. Three years later, the Spaniards started the construction of the Basilica of Our Lady of Candelaria, which was rebuilt at the end of the 18th century.

Growth of the town

Catedral Metropolitana de Medellín. is a major architectural works of Colombia, was declared a National Monument of Colombia on March 12 of 1982.

After 1574, with Gaspar de Rodas settled in the valley, population started to grow. According to the church records of the San Lorenzo Church, six couples married between 1646 and 1650, and 41 between 1671 and 1675. Gold mines were developed northeast of Antioquia, and they needed a food supply from nearby agriculture. The Aburrá Valley was in a strategic position between the gold mines and the first provincial capital of Antioquia, Santa Fe de Antioquia.[13]

The provincial capital, Santa Fe, started to lose importance and gradually became poor, as trade and prominent personalities of the region came to the Aburrá Valley, where rich families started to buy land. Soon, the first settlers asked for the creation of a Cabildo (council) in the valley, thus getting a separate government from Santa Fe. The Santa Fe government fought this, but Mariana of Austria signed the edict creating the Cabildo on November 22, 1674. The governor Miguel de Aguinaga proclaimed the royal edict on 2 November 1675. The new city was given the title of Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria It is the second largest city in Colombia .