Ciudad Bol�var is the capital of Venezuela's southeastern Bolivar State. It was founded with the name Angostura in 1764, renamed in 1846, and, as of 2010, had an estimated population of 350,691.
The town's original name was a contraction of its full descriptive name, Santo Tom� de Guayana de Angostura del Orinoco (Saint Thomas of Guiana of the narrows of the Orinoco). The town also gave its name to the Angostura tree (Cusparia febrifuga) which grows in the area. Angostura bitters were invented there, though the company which produced them has since moved to Trinidad and Tobago. Ciudad Bol�var's historic center is well preserved, with original colonial buildings around the Plaza Bol�var, including a cathedral.
Ciudad Bol�var lies at a spot where the Orinoco River narrows to about 1 mile (1.6 km) in width, and is the site of the first bridge across the river. It serves as an important port on the Orinoco River for the eastern regions of Venezuela. One of the Orinoco Basin's chief commercial centers, its main products include gold, iron ore, cattle, hides and rare woods.
In 1973 a Museum of Modern Art opened. It was designed by Carlos Ra�l Villanueva and was named after the city's famous son, the kinetic sculptor Jes�s Rafael Soto