Tegucigalpa was founded by Spanish settlers as the Real Villa de San Miguel de Heredia de Tegucigalpa on September 29, 1578, on the site of an existing native settlement. During the years of independence, the city became widely known as a mining center for silver and gold. The capital of the independent Republic of Honduras was constantly switching back and forth between Tegucigalpa and Comayagua until it was permanently settled in Tegucigalpa in 1880.
Some 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Tegucigalpa on the highway to San Pedro Sula at an elevation of 1,949 feet (594 m) above sea level lies Comayagua, founded with the name Santa María de la Nueva Valladolid by Conquistador Alonso de Cáceres on 8 December 1537. rom 1540 on Comayagua was the capital of the Honduras Province of the Captaincy General of Guatemala. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, on the main square, was begun in 1563 and inaugurated in 1711. Right in front of the plaza is located City Hall, which has been reconstructed a couple of times. The building is of neoclassic style and was built during the 16th century.