Tunja (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtuŋha]) is a city on the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes, in the region known as the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, 130 km northeast of Bogotá. In 2012 it had an estimated population of 181,407 inhabitants. It is the capital of Boyacá department and the Central Boyacá Province. Tunja is an important educational centre of well-known universities. In the time before the Spanish conquest of the Muisca, Tunja was called Hunza and was conquered by the Spanish conquistadors on August 20, 1537 upon zaque Quemuenchatocha and founded by the Spanish on August 6, 1539, exactly one year after the former southern capital Bacatá. The city hosts the most remaining Muisca architecture: Hunzahúa Well, Goranchacha Temple and Cojines del Zaque.
Tunja is a tourist destination, especially for religious colonial architecture, with the Casa Fundador Gonzalo Suárez Rendón as oldest remnant. In addition to its religious and historical sites it is host to several internationally known festivals and is a jumping-off point for regional tourist destinations such as Villa de Leyva, Paipa, and Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. It is a stop on the Pan American Highway which connects Tunja to Bogotá and Santa Marta and eventually to the northern and southernmost parts of South America.
Demographics and geography
Tunja has a population of approximately 180,000 inhabitants and is located in central Colombia. The city centre is at an elevation of 2,820 metres (9,250 ft) above sea level.