Loja (lōˈhä) [key], city (1990 pop. 94,305), capital of Loja prov., S Ecuador, on the Zamora River, at the terminus of the Ecuadorian section of the Pan-American Highway. It is a commercial center for the agricultural resources of the area. Cattle are raised in the surrounding region. Founded in 1553, the city was the site of the Ecuadorian declaration of independence in 1820. Loja has a law school and a technical institute.