CUENCA, koo-inicii, Ecuador, capital of the province of Azuay, and in size the third city of the republic, Quito being first and Guayaquil second. It is situated in the canton of Cuenca, 8,640 feet above the level of the sea; the mean annual temperature is one degree higher than that of the national capital, though it lies 189 miles farther toward the south. a centre of literary and artistic life, and the birthplace of celebrated authors, it is called ((the Athens of Ecuador.* Civil, military and eccle siastical authorities are the governor, town council, bishop, commanding-general of the district, superior court of justice, judge of com merce and chief of police. Principal institu tions are the town hall, cathedral, seven churches, and several convents, orphan asylum, hospital, prison, library, parks, the university (with faculties of law, medicine, philosophy and science), lyceum for younger scholars, athe nxtim, and a school of fine arts giving instruc tion in drawing, painting, architecture, music and the history of the arts. It is the centre of a
fertile grain, cotton, sugar and cochineal pro ducing region, and rich metal deposits are worked in the neighborhood. The most import ant manufactures are pottery, hats and wool ens, and a considerable trade in preserved fruits, cheese and grain is carried on. Cuenca was founded in 1557, on the site of the old native village Tumibamba, and in 1786 was cre ated an episcopal see. There are numerous interesting Aztec remains in the vicinity. The mountain of Tarqui on the south was chosen in 1742 for determining the meridian line of La Condamine, Bouguer and Godin. At the base of the mountain occurred the battle of Tarqui in 1828 between the Colombian and Peruvian forces. Peruvian bark is an important product. Pop. 30,000.