La Paz Bolivia also known as “Nuestra Señora de La Paz” (Our Lady of Peace – in English) is often referred to as just “La Paz” (The Peace – in English) is one of the two capital cities in the country, the other one is Sucre. This city is also one of the nine Bolivian government departments which include; Tarija, Pando, Beni, Cochabamba, Potosi, Oruro, Chuquisaca, and Santa Cruz. Contrary to what many people believe La Paz is NOT the capital of Bolivia, Sucre is (see why below).
La Paz Bolivia
With over 877,363 inhabitants, La Paz is the third most populated city in Bolivia, and was founded by the Spanish conquistadors in 1548, at the Native American settlement. In 2014 the New 7 Wonders Foundation named the city of La Paz as one of the New-7-Wonders-Cities of the world.
Located on the western side of country, the city of La Paz Bolivia is settled in a “bowl” surrounded by the mountains of Altiplano, as it continued to grow the cities buildings began to “climb” up the mountain sides, which resulted in elevations varying from 10,500 to 13,500 feet (3,200 to 4,100 m). Coroico is a city located within the La Paz Bolivia Department. With an elevation of about 11,975 feet (3,650 m) above sea level La Paz is the highest capital city in the world, and was built on a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River that runs northwest to southeast. The always snow covered triple peaked Illimani overlooks the city and can be seen from “El Alto” the neighboring city.
“Nuestra Señora de La Paz” (the cities original name) was given to commemorate the restoration of peace that followed the insurrection of Gonzalo Pizarro, and fellow conquistadors, 4 years earlier against Blasco Nuñez Vela, Peru’s first Viceroy. Later on the city was moved to the valley of Chuquiago Marka, its present location. Pedro de la Gasca had been entrusted control over the former Inca lands by the Spanish king and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. Alonso de Mendoza was commanded by Gasca to found a new city to commemorate the end of civil wars in Peru, (Bolivia once was part of Peru before gaining its independence in 1825) thus La Paz was founded on October 20, 1548.
Juan Gutierrez Paniagua was commanded in 1549 to design a plan to designate sites for public areas such as; official buildings, cathedrals and plazas. For a total of six months in 1781 a group of Aymara people laid siege on the city. With the leadership of Tupac Katari the group destroyed government property and churches, thirty years later another group of Indians led a two month siege on the city. In 1809 Bolivia continued to struggle for independence from the Spanish rule and on July 16, 1809 Pedro Domingo Murillo famously said that “the Bolivian revolution was igniting a lamp that nobody would be able to turn off”. And so the beginning of the Liberation of South America from Spain was formally marked. On July 16, 1809 La Paz and the city of Sucre made the first revolution against the Spanish Crown, this event is also known as the “Primer Grito de America”. Although Pedro Domingo Murillo was hanged at the Plaza de los Españoles, he would be forever remembered as the voice of the South American Revolution. After the victory of the republicas at Ayacucho over the Spanish army in 1825 the cities name was changed to La Paz de Ayacucho.
Here is the reason why so many people ….
After the economic decline (in Sucre) of the silver industry in 1898 the Bolivian seat of government moved to La Paz, thus the reason why some many people mistake La Paz for the capital of the country!
At over 13,000 (4,000 m) feet above sea level the higher parts of the city have an unusual subtropical highland climate with sub polar oceanic characteristics (meaning the warmest months average temperature is below 10°C). Brighter UV Flashlight, TaoTronics 51 UV Black Light, Pet Odor Detector 395nm (Duracell Battery Included) The entire city has dry winters and rainy summers, with night time temperatures that can go from cold to freezing cold. Despite being only 16° from the equator La Paz’s average temperature is mainly cool all year long.