San Salvador (sän sälväħōrˈ) [key], city (1993 pop. 402,448), central El Salvador, capital and largest city of the country. It is the center of El Salvador's trade and communications. Beer, tobacco products, clothing, textiles, and soap are produced there. Built on the volcanic slope that parallels the Pacific coast (nearby is San Salvador volcano, 6,211 ft/1,893 m), the city has suffered from recurrent and severe earthquakes and has been frequently rebuilt. The most disastrous quake (1854) led to the founding of Nueva San Salvador; the last earthquake occurred in 1986, resulting in significant damage to the city. San Salvador is high enough to escape the excessive heat of the tropics but has a year-round summer climate. It has several fine parks, broad avenues, and modern houses (particularly in outlying sections). Among the city's most visited sites is a memorial (2003) to those who died or disappeared during the country's 12-year civil war. San Salvador was founded early in the 16th cent. and for a time (1831–38) was the capital of the Central American Federation. San Salvador has experienced rapid population growth that has strained its economy.
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