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Beautiful mount

Delimited to the north by Las Delicias and Sabana Grande; to the south by the Guaire River; to the east with Chacaíto and west with Los Caobos and Plaza Venezuela, the extensions of land of the current Bello Monte were acquired by the Englishman John Alderson in the first third of the 19th century, a fervent supporter of our emancipation and close friend of Bolívar and Humboldt. These larger domains, linked to the San Diego hacienda where the University City of Caracas stands today, belonged to the Ibarra family for more than three centuries, cane fields that produced the best rum of the time. The harshness of the Independence and Federal Wars forced many down-and-out Mantuan families to part with the farms inherited from their conquering and encomendero ancestors.

Alderson, in homage to his first-born daughter, gave the name Belmount to that sector, which in English means “Elizabeth's Mount.” According to what Aquiles Nazoa tells us in Caracas physically and spiritually, adopted by usage into Venezuelan speech, the name of Belmount altered over time into “Bello Monte.” Such is the poetic origin of the nickname with which we still name that well-known suburb of Caracas, integrated into the metropolitan fabric.

In the time of Antonio Guzmán Blanco, Jenny de Tallenay arrived in the country from France in 1878 accompanied by her family, who would write the famous memoirs during her three-year stay in the country, published in 1884. Perplexed by the spectacle that the nature of this tropical landscape offered, Jenny described the ruined main house, with atrium and columns, half collapsed and some wall canvases open through pointed windows. It is the same one where Humboldt stayed.

Toponymy is a cultural fact paid by the people. This is what Enrique Bernardo Núñez claims when he points out that the chronicler par excellence is the people themselves. What he says or refers is indelibly printed. What he forgets has no remedy. The names of the neighborhoods, of the corners of the most typical and picturesque places, have come from the town or have been definitively consecrated. It will be useless to give them new names. These names resist all new denominations. What tradition is preserved among us is due to the people.

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