Town (pop., 2000: 73,213), capital of Tlaxcala state, Mexico. It is located in a mountainous region at the foot of La Malinche volcano. Settled by a Nahua people around the 14th century, it vied for power in the 15th–16th century with the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán (modern Mexico City). Though the inhabitants initially opposed Hernán Cortés, they later became his allies and aided him in his defeat of Azetec leader Montezuma II. It was a refuge for the Spaniards when they were driven out of Tenochtitlán in 1520. Cortés established the first Christian church (San Francisco) in the Americas there in 1521. The sanctuary of Our Lady of Ocotlán and archaeological ruins are nearby.
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The city of Tlaxcala (in full, Tlaxcala de Xicoténcatl) is the capital and chief center of population of the Mexican state of Tlaxcala. The city is located at in the south-central portion of the state. At the census of 2005 the city had a population of 15,777 inhabitants and was by far the smallest state capital in Mexico. It is only the tenth-largest city in the state of Tlaxcala. The city is the municipal seat of its surrounding municipality of Tlaxcala, which had a population of 83,748. The municipality has an area of 41.61 km² (16.066 sq mi) and includes several other communities, the largest of which are Ocotlán, Santa María Acuitlapilco, and San Gabriel Cuauhtla. The city of Tlaxcala is not even the largest in its own municipality, as Ocotlán, with a population of 22,082 is larger than Tlaxcala.