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city, west-central El Salvador. Founded in 1854 as Nueva Ciudad de San Salvador at the southern base of San Salvador Volcano, it briefly became the national capital when San Salvador (7 miles [11 km] east) was devastated by an earthquake. In 1859 the seat of government was moved back to San Salvador, which had been rebuilt. The city lies along the Inter-American Highway, a section of the Pan-American Highway, in a densely settled agricultural area. Pop. (2005 est.) urban area, 161,500