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Sucre (population 247,300 in 2006) is the constitutional capital of Boliviamarker. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an altitude of 2750m (9,000 ft). Its lower altitude gives the city a warm temperate climate year-round.

On November 30, 1538, Sucre was founded under the name Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo by Pedro Anzures, Marqués de Campo Redondo. In 1538, the Spanishmarker King Philip II established the Audiencia de Charcas in La Plata with authority over an area which covers what is now Paraguaymarker, southeastern Perumarker, Northern Chilemarker and Argentinamarker, and much of Boliviamarker. The Audiencia de Charcas was a subdivision of the Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1601, the Recoleta Monastery was founded by the Franciscans and in 1609, an archbishopric was founded in the city. In 1624, St Francis Xavier University of Chuquisaca was founded.

Very much a Spanish city during the colonial era, the narrow streets of the city centre are organised in a grid, reflecting the Andalusian culture that is embodied in the architecture of the city's great houses and numerous convents and churches. Sucre remains the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in Bolivia, and a common sight is members of religious orders dressed in traditional costume. For much of its colonial history, Sucre's temperate climate was preferred by the Spanish royalty and wealthy families involved in silver trade coming from Potosímarker. Testament to this is the Glorieta Castle. Sucre's University(Universidad Mayor Real & Pontificia de San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca) is one of the oldest universities in the new world.
Festival time in Sucre
Until the 19th century, La Plata was the judicial, religious and cultural centre of the region. In 1839, after the city became the capital of Bolivia, it was renamed in honour of the revolutionary leader Antonio José de Sucre. Too remote after the economic decline of Potosímarker and its silver industry, it saw the Bolivian seat of government move to La Pazmarker in 1898. Many argue Sucre was the epicenter that initiated the independence campaign against Spain in all of Latin America. The first "Grito Libertario" (Shout for Freedom) in any Western Hemisphere Spanish colony of took place in Sucre in 1809. Ironically, Bolivia was the last territory to gain its independence in 1825. In 1991, Sucre became a UNESCOmarker World Heritage Site.

The city attracts thousands of tourists every year thanks to its well-conserved downtown with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Nestled at the foot of the twin hills of Churuquella and Sika Sika, Sucre is the gateway to numerous small villages that date from the colonial era, the most well-known of which is Tarabucomarker, home of the colorful "Pujllay" festival held each March. Most of these villagers are members of one of the indigenous ethnicities. Many dress in clothing distinctive to their respective villages.

The City of Four Names

Each of the well known names represent a specific era of the city's history.

  • Charcas was the indigenous name for the place upon which the Spaniards built the colonial city.
  • La Plata was the name given to the emerging Hispanic city of privilege and honor.
  • The name Chuquisaca was bestowed upon the city during the independence era.
  • Sucre honors the great marshal of the Battle of Ayacucho (December 9, 1824), Don Antonio Jose de Sucre.


Buildings

The House of Freedom (La Casa de la Libertad)

Built in 1621, it is perhaps the most important building of the nation. The republic was founded in this building by Simon Bolivar who wrote the Bolivian Constitution.

The “Salón de la Independencia” houses the Bolivian Declaration of Independence.

National Library (La Biblioteca Nacional)

Built on the same year of the foundation of the Republic, it is the first and the most important historical, bibliographical and documentation center of the country. The National Library has documents that date from 15th century.

Metropolitan Cathedral (La Catedral Metropolitana)

Built between 1559 to 1712, the cathedral has the “Museo Catedraliceo” which is the first and most important religious museum of the country. The “Pinacoteca” has a vast collection of paintings by Colonial and Republican masters and also by Europeans such as Bitti, Fourchaudt and Van Dyck. The Cathedral contains a vast amount of jewelry made of gold, silver and gemstones.

Archbishop's Palace (El Palacio Arzobispal)

Built in 1609, was an important religious and historic institution during colonial times.

Cemetery

The biggest and most beautiful of the country.

Churches and Convents

San Felipe Nery

San Francisco

La Recoleta

Santa Teresa

Santa Clara

Churches

Santo Domingo

San Lazaro

San Sebastian

Iglesia de la Merced

San Agustín

Santa Mónica

Santa Barbara

San Miguel

Chapels

Loreto's Chapel

References



External links




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