The citys population at the 2010 census was 220,389, and the municipality for which it serves as municipal seat had a population of 259,005. The city was founded in 1540 by Spanish conquistadores as San Francisco de Campeche atop the pre-existing Maya city of Can Pech, the Pre-Columbian city was described as having 3,000 houses and various monuments, of which little trace remains. The city retains many of the old colonial Spanish city walls and fortifications protected the city from pirates. The state of preservation and quality of its architecture earned it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, originally, the Spaniards lived inside the walled city, while the natives lived in the surrounding barrios of San Francisco, Guadalupe and San Román. These barrios still retain their original churches, the one in Guadalupe is almost 500 years old, founded in 1540 by Francisco Montejo, Campeche was terrorized by pirates and marauders until the city started fortification in 1686. San Francisco de Campeche was originally a village, Ah Kim Pech. The city of Campeche was founded in 1540 and fortified against pirates during the 17th century and it still has the appearance of a fortress. Historical monuments and buildings, such as the Franciscan cathedral, old Maya ruins, the state of preservation and quality of its architecture earned it the status of a World Heritage Site in 1999. More than one thousand buildings with a historic value have survived as witnesses of space, the French engineer Louis Bouchard de Becour was commissioned to unify all the defensive works that surrounded the city with a wall. At its completion, the surrounding the city of Campeche was 2,560 meters in length, forming an irregular hexagon around the main part of the city. These bulwarks now serve different functions, Santiago, Used as the Botanical Garden Xmuch´haltún, San Francisco, Protects the Land Gate. Houses the library of the INAH, San Juan, Protects the Land Gate. Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, Also protects the Sea Gate and it is the largest one and holds the Museum of City History. San Carlos, Holds the City Museum and this fort was the first one built. It also contained four gates to access to the main quarters. The main entrances are the Puerta de la tierra, built in 1732, the Land Gate is kept as a tourist attraction, having a light and sound show three nights each week and keeping original supplies and items from the 17th century. The other gates were Guadalupe and San Román, connecting to the outside neighborhoods, additionally, two main forts protected the city from two nearby hills on each side, the forts of San José el Alto and San Miguel. These forts gave long-range artillery coverage and served also as look-outs and they were built before the walls of the city
Image: Calles 59 panoramio
Facades of Colonial buildings with the city's cathedral visible.
The Fort of San Miguel was built to defend the town against the attack of pirates during the 17th and 18th centuries.