Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and Cundinamarca Department, with a population of 8,854,722 in 2015. Bogotá and its metropolitan area had a population of over 13 million in 2015. Bogotá is the fastest growing major city in Latin America, and is expected to have around 25 million inhabitants by 2038.In terms of land area, Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia, and one of the biggest in Latin America. It figures among the 25 largest cities of the world and is the third-highest capital city in South America at 2640meters above sea level, after La Paz and Quito. With its many universities, museums, cultural festivals and libraries, Bogotá has been called "The Athens of South America".The city is listed as a Beta global city by the GaWC.HistoryThe area of modern Bogotá was first populated by groups of indigenous people who migrated south. Among these groups were the Muiscas, who settled mainly in the regions that we know today as the Departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá. With the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, the area became a major settlement, founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and later capital of the Spanish provinces and the seat of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. With independence, Bogotá became capital of the Gran Colombia and later the capital of the Republic of Colombia.