Barranquilla (bärängkēˈyä) [key], city (1993 pop. 990,547), capital of Atlántico dept., N Colombia, on the Magdalena River, 8 mi (12.9 km) from the Caribbean Sea. Colombia's largest port on the Caribbean, it also has shipbuilding, textile, glass, perfume, beer, sugar, publishing, and other industries. Founded in 1629, Barranquilla was a sleepy tropical town until the mid-19th cent., when steamboats began navigating the river and railroads connecting it with other cities in the region were built. The port was enlarged in the 1920s, and the city gradually surpassed its old rival, Cartagena. Barranquilla's carnivals attract many tourists. It has an international airport and two universities.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.