Merida (anc. Augusta Emerita), a city of Estremadura, Spain, on the right bank of the Guadiana, in the province and 30 m. E. of the city of Badajoz; pop. about 5,000. The streets are paved and clean; the houses are mostly very ancient. The town contains a hospital, a lunatic asylum, a theatre, three churches, two nunneries, and four primary schools. Merida is famous for its well preserved monuments of Koman antiquity. The Guadiana is here crossed by a bridge built by Trajan, and rebuilt in 1610 by Philip III., with 81 arches, 2,575 ft. long, 26 ft. broad, and 33 ft. above the bed of the river. Another bridge, 450 ft, long, which still retains its original Roman pavement, crosses the little stream Albarregas. There is also a triumphal arch 44 ft, high, built by Trajan; a well preserved amphitheatre; the piers of a stupendous aqueduct; a more modern Pvoman aqueduct of 140 arches, which still supplies the city with water; a gateway with an Arabic inscription; and a few remains of a castle. - Some historians suppose Merida to have been founded by the Greeks; but it was certainly rebuilt and called Augusta Emerita by Publius Carisius in 25 B. C. It was taken by the Moors shortly after their landing in Spain in 711, and from them it was wrested by Alfonso the Wise in 1230. Prudentius describes it as a magnificent city in the 4th century; since its annexation by Alfonso it has gradually declined.

The French invested the town in June, 1811, but were driven off by the English in April, 1812.

Merida #1

Merida, an inland city of Mexico, in the peninsula and capital of the state of Yucatan, and of the department of its own name, 22 m. from the gulf of Mexico, and 615 m. E. by N. of Mexico; pop. in 1871, 33,025, chiefly descendants of the Mayas and mestizos. It is situated in the midst of a level plain; the streets are very regular and spacious, and there are several squares. On the principal square stand the cathedral, a majestic structure completed in 1598, the government house, the city hall, the episcopal palace, and the ancient college of San Hdefonso, now occupied by the treasury offices and the state tribunals. Besides the cathedral, there are 14 churches, a hospital with a revenue of $115,000 and an annual subvention of $2,400 from the state, a public library, a theatre, prison, house of correction, asylum, several political, mercantile, and literary periodicals, and a number of literary and commercial associations. Education is in a prosperous state, there being schools of law, medicine, and pharmacy, an inxtituto literario, private colleges, academies, and lyce-ums, and 14 primary and grammar schools. Manufactures are very flourishing, including cotton fabrics, cigars and cigarettes, rum, refined sugar, molasses, cordage, leather, soap, Panama hats, etc.

The annual value of manufactures is about $1,200,000. Kope, leather, and bags arc exported to Havana. The port of Merida is Progreso, on the gulf of Mexico.

__Merida was founded by Francisco de Montejo the younger, on the site of the antique Maya town Te-hoo, in 1542; and it was erected into a bishopric in 1561.

Merida #2

I. A S. W. State Of Venezuela

A S. W. State Of Venezuela, bordering upon Zulia (formerly Maracaybo), Tru-jillo, and Barinas, and the United States of Colombia; area, about 10,000 sq. m.; pop. about 70,000, mostly Indians and mestizos. The surface is extremely uneven, being traversed in all directions by mountains belonging to the Andine chain, comprising 31 peaks exceeding 10,000 1 ft. in height. The highest summit is in the Sierra Nevada, 15,066 ft. Between the mountain ranges are lofty table lands and extensive valleys. There are 75 rivers, 33 of which flow to the Orinoco through the plains of Barinas; the largest is the Grita, a tributary of the Zulia, navigable for 50 m. from the junction. There are several lakes of considerable size, among them the Lagunilla, 3,000 ft. above the sea, yielding large quantities of unto or sesquicarbonate of soda. Nearly all the productions of the torrid and temperate zones abound, and domestic animals are very numerous.

II. A City

A City, capital of the state, on a beautiful plateau, 5,421 ft. above the sea, 310 m. S. W. of Caracas; pop. about 6,000. The streets are regular, and the houses generally low and solidly constructed, owing to the frequency of earthquakes. The city has a cathedral, several chapels, a convent, a seminary, a college, and several primary schools. The climate, though subject to frequent and sudden changes, is considered tolerably healthy; the mean annual temperature is 50° F. The chief occupations of the inhabitants are agriculture, cattle rearing, and the manufacture of cotton and woollen fabrics, which are preferred by reason of their cheapness to those from Europe. Woollen carpets, tastefully variegated ■with brilliant colored flowers from a native vegetable dye, are extensively made. Merida is the seat of an episcopal see, and was once second in importance among the cities of Venezuela: but it lias never fully recovered from the earthquake of Is 12.