Sucre Bolivia better known as just “Sucre” is the capital of the Chuquisaca department.
Contrary to what many people think Sucre is the capital of Bolivia not La Paz! 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 was moved to La Paz, thus the reason why some many people mistake La Paz for the capital of the country!
With over 300,000 people Sucre is the 6th most populated city in the country.
Located in the south central part of Bolivia and with an elevation of 9,214 feet (2,810 meters), this gives Sucre a cool temperate climate all year long due to the high altitude. Sucre is nestled at the foot of Churuquella and Sika Sika (twin hills) and attracts thousands, and thousands of tourists every year, one of the main attracts is the 18th and 19th century well preserved downtown buildings.
Sucre was founded by Pedro Anzures, the Marques de Campo Redondo, on November 30, 1538 under the name “Cuidad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo” or (City of Silver of New Toldeo). The Spanish king Philip II, in 1559 established in La Plata the Audiencia de Charcas, with authority over areas which covers what is now Nothern Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Southeastern Peru, and also much of Bolivia. Until 1776 the Audiencia de Charcas remained a subdivision of Viceroyalty of Peru, it was then transferred to create a newly Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata.
The Recoleta Monastery was founded by the Franciscans in 1601, and later in 1609 an archbishopric was founded in Sucre, and in 1624 the St. Francis Xavier University of Chuquisaca was founded, this city is still the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. One of the oldest universities in the new world is the “Universidad Mayor Real y Pontifica de San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca” in Sucre. One of Sucre’s most precious relics is the bell of the Basilica of Saint Francisco; on May 25, 1809 the Bolivian independence movement began with the ringing of this bell!
Although the bell was rung until the point of breakage, to this day you can still find it at the Basilica. In July 1826, La Plata was proclaimed provisional capital of the newly independent Alto Peru later renamed Bolivia on July 12, 1839, by President Jose Miguel de Velasco. Who also renamed La Plata to Sucre in honor of revolutionary leader Antonio Jose de Sucre and proclaimed a law making Sucre the capital of Bolivia. In 1991 Sucre became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The City of Four Nicknames
By now I’m sure you realized how many, many times the city of Sucre was renamed, below is a short list that recaps, that Sucre was also once known as….
- “La Cuidad Blanca” or The White City because many of the colonial style houses were painted white.
- “La Plata” or The Silver this name was given to the rising Hispanic city of honor and privilege
- “Chuquisaca” the city was named this during the independence era
- “Charcas” the indigenous name for the city where the Spaniards built the colonial city
The house of freedom was built in 1621 and is perhaps the most important building in Bolivia; the republic was founded in this very building by Simon Bolivar who also wrote the Bolivian Constitution.
The Bolivian Declaration of Independence can be found at the “Salon de la Independencia”
This city has a subtropical highland climate, with mild temperatures all year long.