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Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada led an expedition to the interior in April 1536, and christened the districts through which he passed "New Kingdom of Granada".

In August 1538, he founded provisionally its capital near the Muisca cacicazgo of Bacatá, and named it "Santa Fe".

The name was later adopted by the Republic of Colombia of 1819, formed from the territories of the old Viceroyalty of New Granada (modern-day Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, and northwest Brazil).

When Venezuela, Ecuador and Cundinamarca came to exist as independent states, the former Department of Cundinamarca adopted the name "Republic of New Granada".

The Spanish set foot on Colombian soil for the first time in 1499 and in the first half of the 16th century initiated a period of conquest and colonization, ultimately creating the New Kingdom of Granada, with as capital Santafé de Bogotá.

New Granada officially changed its name in 1858 to the Granadine Confederation.

In 1863 the name was again changed, this time to United States of Colombia, before finally adopting its present name – the Republic of Colombia – in 1886.

Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru.

It is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments.

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