The Aburrá Valley was in a strategic position between the gold mines and the first provincial capital of Antioquia, Santa Fe de Antioquia.
The provincial capital, Santa Fe, started to lose importance and gradually became poor, as trade and prominent personalities of the region came to the Aburrá Valley, where rich families started to buy land.
His request was accepted on November 22, 1674, when the Regent Mariana of Austria proclaimed the city's name to be Villa de Nuestra Señora de Medellín.
Miguel Aguinaga y Mendiogoitia, Governor, made the name official on November 2, 1675.
Soon, the first settlers asked for the creation of a Cabildo (council) in the valley, thus getting a separate government from Santa Fe.
The name "Medellín" comes from Medellín, Spain, a small village in the Badajoz province of Extremadura.
On 2 November 1675, the queen consort Mariana of Austria founded the "Town of Our Lady of Candelaria of Medellín" (Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Medellín) in the Aná region, which today corresponds to the center of the city (east-central zone) and first describes the region as "Medellín".
In 1826, the city was named the capital of the Department of Antioquia by the National Congress of the nascent Republic of Gran Colombia, comprised by present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama.
At the beginning of the 21st century the city regained industrial dynamism, with the construction of the Medellín Metro commuter rail, liberalized development policies, improved security and improved education.
Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute have lauded the city as a pioneer of a post-Washington consensus "local development state" model of economic development.