city, west-central Honduras, on the right bank of the Humuya River in a fertile valley. Founded in 1537 as Valladolid de Santa Maria de Comayagua, the town served as the Spanish colonial capital of Honduras province. A variation of its name, Comayaguela, is used for the government district of Tegucigalpa. It suffered damage in the 19th-century political upheavals of Honduras and in rivalry with Tegucigalpa for the position of national capital, but only in 1880 was the capital finally transferred to Tegucigalpa. Colonial buildings include a notable Spanish Baroque cathedral (1715), four 16th-century churches, and a former university-the first in Central America, founded in 1632. Comayagua manufactures pharmaceuticals, shoes, resins, cement products, and ceramics; it is the commercial centre for western Honduras. The national Agricultural Centre is located in the city. Much of the downtown, including the cathedral and central park, has been renovated to restore the city's colonial atmosphere and unique charm. The Inter-Oceanic Highway passes through the city. Comayagua also has an airfield, which was upgraded in the early 1980s into a military air base. Just outside of Comayagua is Palmerola, the chief U.S. military base in Honduras, which is shared with the Honduran air force. Pop. (2001) 55,368.
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