The foundation of Santa Fe de Antioquia dates back to the time of the Spanish Conquest, which took place between 1537 and 1600.
It was then called the Province of Antioquia, Santa Fe was precisely the first city to be founded on December 4, 1541, by the conqueror Jorge Robledo, in the Ebéjico Valley. For 246 years it was the capital of the department of Antioquia.
Its prestige and importance in the region have earned it different names: ‘Cuna de la Raza’ (Cradle of the Race) and ‘Perla de Robledo’ (Pearl of Robledo).
The early settlement was due to the exploration and later exploitation of gold in the territory. Although Robledo’s troops first tried to settle in Frontino, the resistance of the indigenous population led him to settle in another place, which is why, for a time, the current Frontino was known as “Antioquia la Vieja” (Old Antioquia). In 1542, the city was moved to the Tonusco Valley, where the city is currently located.
Santa Fe became a city, that is to say, a territory of greater hierarchy with respect to other conglomerates such as villages, towns and places; because it was the center of administration and commerce of the mining business, receiving the gold production and transforming it into smelters. Thus, it was the center of the mining area constituted in colonial times, mainly by Buriticá, where the vein mines of the hill were exploited; in addition to the current municipalities of Dabeiba, Frontino, Cañasgordas, Abriaquí, and the strip of the Cauca River that goes from Anzá to Sabanalarga (Villegas, 1985, p. 12). Some of these areas also served as places for the provisioning of food for the enslaved population.