/ahm bah"taw/, n.
a city in central Ecuador, ab. 8500 ft. (2590 m) above sea level. 77,955.

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      city, central Ecuador. It lies along the Ambato River in an intermontane basin near the northeastern foot of Mount Chimborazo, at an elevation of about 8,500 feet (2,600 m) above sea level. It was the scene of a decisive victory in 1821 by Antonio José de Sucre, lieutenant of the liberator Simón Bolívar, against the Spanish during the wars for Latin American independence. Ambato has frequently been damaged by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes; much of the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1949. Its remaining landmarks include a modern cathedral; the mausoleum of Juan Montalvo, a noted Ecuadoran writer and freedom fighter, who was born in Ambato in 1832; and Quinta de Juan León Mera, a mansion with restored 19th-century gardens that belonged to Juan León Mera, an Ecuadoran politician, poet, and novelist.

      The city is an agricultural trade centre, and fruit is grown in the Ambato River basin. Ambato is known for its annual Fruit and Flower Festival, which takes place the last two weeks of February, as well as for many smaller folkloric festivals throughout the year. There are also sugarcane plantations and grain farms in the locality. Industrial activity includes tanneries, leatherworks, food processing, and textile milling.

      An important communications centre, Ambato is located on the Riobamba– Quito railway line and on the Pan-American Highway. A road from the city leads over the eastern cordillera of the Andes via Baños to the Oriente region, the lowland area of eastern Ecuador. Ambato's lush suburb of Miraflores is a favourite resort for the upper classes of Guayaquil. Pop. (2003 est.) 169,103.

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Universalium. 2010.

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