The origins of the city can be traced to before the Spanish Conquest. It is near the present location of San Salvador that the Pipil groups, established their capital, Cuscatlán. Not very much is known about this city, since it was abandoned by its inhabitants in an effort to avoid Spanish rule.
Although the city was founded on April 1, 1525, in the sixteenth century, it was rebuilt and changed locations twice afterwards 1528 and 1545. Originally founded in what is now the archaeological site Ciudad Vieja, north of the present-day city, it was moved to the Valle de Las Hamacas or the Acelhuate Valley, named so due to the intense seismic activity that characterizes it, which boasted more space and more fertile land, thanks to the pristine and now extremely polluted Acelhuate River. As the population of the country remained relatively small up until the early twentieth century, the city grew slowly.
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