/ver'euh kroohz"/; Sp. /be'rddah krddoohs"/, n.
1. a state in E Mexico, on the Gulf of Mexico. 4,917,000; 27,759 sq. mi. (71,895 sq. km). Cap.: Jalapa.
2. a seaport in this state: the chief port of Mexico. 289,000. Formerly, Vera Cruz.

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State (pop., 2000: 6,908,975), east-central Mexico.

Bordering the Gulf of Mexico, it occupies 27,683 sq mi (71,699 sq km); its capital is Jalapa. The state's low, sandy gulf area rises inland to a central plateau, where the volcano Citlaltépetl, Mexico's highest peak, reaches 18,406 ft (5,610 m) high. The area was inhabited by pre-Columbian cultures, including the Olmec. The first European landing was made by Hernán Cortés in 1519. A state since 1824, Veracruz has more than one-fourth of Mexico's petroleum reserves and several of the country's refineries. Its economy is supplemented by agriculture, forestry products, and manufacturing.
in full Veracruz Llave

City (pop., 2000: 411,582) and port on the Gulf of Mexico, east-central Veracruz state, east-central Mexico.

Hernán Cortés founded La Villa Rica de la Veracruz as the first Mexican municipality in 1519, but the site was twice abandoned because of its unhealthy conditions; the present city dates from с 1600. As the chief link between colonial Mexico and Spain, Veracruz prospered as a port and became the most "Spanish" of Mexican cities. It was attacked and captured repeatedly, first by privateers, then by French and U.S. forces (see Veracruz incident). It was renamed Veracruz Llave in honour of Gen. Ignacio de la Llave, governor of Veracruz state (1857–60). Both the 1857 and 1917 Mexican constitutions were proclaimed there. A revolt against Pres. Francisco Madero occurred there in 1912. It is one of Mexico's chief seaports and a commercial centre for the Gulf coast.

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in full  Veracruz Llave 
 city and port on the Gulf of Mexico (Mexico, Gulf of), Veracruz estado (state), east-central Mexico.

      The city is built on a hot, low, and barren sandy beach along the Gulf of Mexico only about 50 feet (15 metres) above sea level. Hernán Cortés (Cortés, Hernán, marqués del Valle de Oaxaca) founded La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (“The Rich Town of the True Cross”) in 1519, but the low-lying settlement was twice relocated because of a lack of fresh water, the danger from flooding, and other unhealthful conditions. Veracruz has occupied its present site since 1599, and it was designated a city in 1615.

      As the chief link between colonial Mexico and Spain, Veracruz prospered as a port and became the most “Spanish” of Mexican cities, with an admixture of Caribbean creole influences. Because of its strategic location and direct overland connections to Puebla and Mexico City, it was attacked and captured many times. In the 16th century Francis Drake (Drake, Sir Francis) and other British pirates attacked the city several times, leading to the construction of a fort (Castillo de San Juan de Ulua) on Callega Island during the 1600s; it is now a tourist attraction. U.S. troops captured the port and marched inland from Veracruz during the Mexican-American War (1846–48). French troops also entered Mexico via Veracruz during their occupation under the emperor Maximilian in the 1860s. It was renamed Veracruz Llave in honour of Gen. Ignacio de la Llave, governor of Veracruz state (1857–60). Both the 1857 and 1917 Mexican constitutions were proclaimed there.

      Veracruz is the chief seaport on the east coast of Mexico and is a communications centre for the gulf littoral and the tropical and highland hinterlands of Veracruz state. Despite its hot, humid climate, Veracruz is an important domestic tourist destination, particularly attractive to weekend visitors from Mexico City. It is noted for its colonial-era buildings, indigenous cultural influences, and regional cuisine. A major commercial fishing port, Veracruz also offers sportfishing, beaches, and water sports. Veracruzana University was founded in 1944 at Xalapa. The city is linked by highway, railroad, and air to other major population centres. Pop. (2000) city, 411,582; (2005) urban agglom., 702,394.

in full  Veracruz-Llave 
  estado (state), east-central Mexico. Veracruz is bounded by the state of Tamaulipas to the north, by the Gulf of Mexico (Mexico, Gulf of) to the east, and by the states of Tabasco and Chiapas to the southeast, Oaxaca to the southwest, and Puebla, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potosí to the west. The state capital is Xalapa (Jalapa; in full, Xalapa Enríquez).

      Veracruz is shaped like a crescent, stretching some 400 miles (650 km) along the Gulf coast but averaging only about 60 miles (100 km) in width. The coast consists of low sandy strips interspersed with tidewater streams and lagoons, but the relief rises inland to the Sierra Madre Oriental, which is cut by valleys often covered by dense tropical rainforest. Citlaltépetl (Pico de Orizaba, Volcano) (Orizaba Peak), Mexico's highest point, at 18,406 feet (5,610 metres), is located at the juncture of the Sierra Madre highlands and the Cordillera Neo-Volcánica. More than 40 rivers and tributaries provide water for irrigation and hydroelectric power; they also carry rich silt down from the eroding highlands, which is deposited in the valleys and coastal areas.

      The state contains numerous remains of pre-Hispanic Olmec, Totonac, and Huastec cities. El Tajín, a ruined city that reached its apex between the 9th and 13th centuries AD, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992. Spanish colonial settlements began in the 16th century, including the river port of Tlacotalpan, which was made a World Heritage site in 1998. A small but significant proportion of the residents still speak indigenous languages.

      Veracruz has one of Mexico's leading economies. The state has about one-fourth of Mexico's petroleum reserves and several refineries. Chief agricultural products include coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, tobacco, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables, but farmers depend mainly on corn (maize) and beans. Veracruz is one of the country's leading producers of beef cattle. Forestry, flowers (notably orchids), and medicinal plants are also important. Among the state's numerous and varied industries are sugar refining, distilling, chemical processing, metalworking, and textile production. Fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico and processing of the catches form an industry of national importance. Highway, rail, and air connections are good, especially in the south. Besides the major seaport of Veracruz city, there are minor ports at Tuxpan and Coatzacoalcos, among others. A major highway and railroad link Veracruz city and Xalapa to Mexico City.

      Veracruz became a state in 1824. Its government is headed by a governor, who is elected to a single term of six years. Members of the unicameral legislature, the State Congress, are elected to three-year terms. The state is divided into local governmental units called municipios (municipalities), each of which is headquartered in a prominent city, town, or village. Veracruz University (1944) is located in Xalapa. The anthropological museum in Xalapa (1957) displays Olmec, Totonac, and Huastec artifacts. Area 27,683 square miles (71,699 square km). Pop. (2000) 6,908,975; (2005) 7,110,214.

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Universalium. 2010.

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