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city, north-central Colombia, situated on the northeastern slopes of the Andean Cordillera Oriental at 3,146 feet (959 m) above sea level. Founded in 1622, Bucaramanga gained commercial significance at an early date. It is in a coffee- and tobacco-producing area, and its manufactures include cigars, cigarettes, textiles, straw hats, and iron products. The Industrial University of Santander was established in Bucaramanga in 1947. The city is connected by railroad with Puerto Wilches, on the Magdalena River; by highway with major cities of eastern Colombia and Venezuela; and by air services with Bogota and the cities of the Caribbean coast. Pop. (2007 est.) 514,596.