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Pasto (päˈstō) [key], city (1993 pop. 261,368), alt. 8,510 ft (2,594 m), capital of Nariño dept., SW Colombia. It is a distribution and processing center for the agricultural and mineral products of the surrounding region. Varnish and woolen goods are produced in the city. Founded in 1539, Pasto was a royalist city in the revolution against Spain and changed hands several times. Antonio Nariño was defeated at Pasto by the Spanish in 1814. Occupied for a short period in 1831 by Ecuadorian forces, Pasto was the scene of the treaty (1832) by which Colombia (then called New Granada) and Ecuador became separate states. The city retains a colonial appearance, with narrow streets and many old churches. The Galeras volcano (14,029 ft/4,276 m) is to the west.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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