city, central Ecuador. It lies along the Ambato River in an intermontane basin near the northeastern foot of Mount Chimborazo, at an elevation of about 8,500 feet (2,600 m) above sea level. It was the scene of a decisive victory in 1821 by Antonio Jose de Sucre, lieutenant of the liberator Simon Bolivar, against the Spanish during the wars for Latin American independence. Ambato has frequently been damaged by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes; much of the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1949. Its remaining landmarks include a modern cathedral; the mausoleum of Juan Montalvo, a noted Ecuadoran writer and freedom fighter, who was born in Ambato in 1832; and Quinta de Juan Leon Mera, a mansion with restored 19th-century gardens that belonged to Juan Leon Mera, an Ecuadoran politician, poet, and novelist
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