The capital city of Guam is Hagåtña. Unlike many other political capitals Hagåtña isn’t the most populous city in Guam but instead ranks as its second smallest. The city of Dededo is Guam’s largest city. Hagåtña, which is made up of an area of approximately one square mile, can be found on Guam’s west coast at the mouth of the Hagåtña River. The city once played an important cultural and historical role in Guam before the region was colonized. After the arrival of the Spanish most of Guam’s indigenous peoples as well as those living on the Mariana Islands were forced to move to Hagåtña. The Spanish built the Governor's Palace in Hagåtña where it has remained Guam’s capital since the island was ceded to the United States in 1898.
The total population of the capital city, according to figures from 2010, is 1,051. Its current mayor is John A. Cruz, who is a member of the Republican Party and has served in this post since 2005. Hagåtña is home to Guam’s legislature as well as a variety of government offices and departments. Important federal facilities in the capital include the District Court of Guam, United States Postal Service, and U.S. Attorney.
Among the attractions in Hagåtña include the Plaza de España, a Spanish style structure which has the distinction of being listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. A popular religious landmark is Hagåtña’s Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica, also known as The Cathedral of the Sweet Name of Mary. This Catholic place of worship was constructed on the same site as Guam’s very first such church in 1669.The Basilica is home to an ivory and molave wooden image of Guam’s Patroness, Santa Marian Kamalen, who is also referred to as Maga Haga or Great Lady.
The climate of Hagåtña, like the rest of Guam, is classified as being that of a tropical rainforest. Because the island is so close to the equator Hagåtña experiences warm ocean currents with most days of the year being humid and very warm. Average temperatures range from a low of 76F to highs hovering about 86F. It is rare for temperatures to exceed 90F or fall under 70F. The annual dry season in Hagåtña lasts from December to July with March being the driest month of all.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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