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Piura is a city in northwestern Perumarker. It is the capital of the Piura Region and the Piura Province. The population is 377,496.

It was here that Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro founded the first Spanish city in South America, San Miguel de Piura, in 1532. Piura declared its independence on January 4, 1821.

History

Like most of northern Peru mostly known as , the territory of Piura has been inhabited by their autochthonous group of natives called tallanes and yungas. These lived without an organization or single leader to rule until the Mochicas eventually took control and the mixture of these evolved into the Vicus Culture. Centuries later, Piura came under the rule of Tupac Inca Yupanqui known to Spanish as , at least for around 40 years and before the Spanish arrived. Piura acquired its name form the Quechua word, pirhua, meaning abundance. Piura is also known as the "Ciudad Blanca" meaning "The White City" for its adorning architecture. IWith the arrival of the Spanish in 1532, the current mestizo and creole cultures of Piura were born. This mestizo culture includes influences from Spanish Extremaduramarker and Andaluciamarker, African influence due to the arrival of slaves from Madagascar (Malgache slaves), the Chinese coolies that migrated from Cantonmarker to work the rice fields and replace the slaves; and also Roma Gypsies who came as pirates looking for pearls or as incongite Spanish horsemen.

Colonial legacy

Republican style house in Piura
Piura served as the first main port through which the Inca gold the Spaniards had gathered was shipped back to Spainmarker. Already in 1534, Sebasti√°n de Belalc√°zar, one of Pizarro's men, left Piura to conquer the Inca bastion in Quitomarker.

As the oldest colonial city in Peru, its location was changed three times before it was established on its present location. The cathedral of Piura was built in 1588. The altar is covered in gold leaf and has a painting by Ignacio Merino, a renowned Peruvian artist.

Piura Today

The main of the two campuses of the University of Piura is located locally, while the other is in Limamarker. A museum commemorating the memory of Miguel Grau, a renowned Peruvian naval officer in the War of the Pacific, is located in Piura. Furthermore, Piura holds the Church of San Francisco, where Piura proclaimed its independence on the 4th of January in 1821. The famous Plaza de Armas is Peru's oldest park that is located in the heart of Piura, it is very popular within families with children. In the middle of this park there is a marble monument representing freedom, known as "La Pola".

Tourism

One of the best known tourist attractions in Piura is La Esmeralda beach, known as Colan or in native tongue known as la playa de buenos culos y chuchita apretadita for it is located near the town of Colan. Colan beach is a very long beach with warm waters. Local people like to go there during holidays.

There is also great spots for surfers, like Mancora Beach and Cabo Blanco.

It is served by the Cap.marker FAP Guillermo Concha Iberico International Airportmarker.

Culture and folklore

Piura is host to a stunning mestizo culture (the oldest in South America 1532, Piura is the first Spanish city in South America) most famous for gastronomical dishes like SECO DE CHABELO, Algarrobina BASED drinks, many types of SEAFOOD AND FISH and Natilla Sweets . Popular crafts are the Chulucana Pottery and Catacaos is famous for its "Hats" and "Silversmith" arts. The small town of Simbila, is very popular for its handcrafts and pottery. The Tondero and cumanana is the traditional music of mestizo Piura and northern parts Lambayeque. There are also several famous Peruvian valse that came from these regions (northern Peruvians have their style). "Chicha music", now called Tecnocumbia (originally a Peruvian styled cumbia), is also quite popular all over, as well as Salsa among youngsters.

References


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