History of La Paz, Bolivia

History of La Paz, Bolivia

According to abbreviationfinder, La Paz, officially Nuestra Señora de La Paz, is the seat of the government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and the capital of the department of La Paz. [2] [3] With an estimated population of 789,541 residents as of 2015, La Paz is the third most populous city in Bolivia (behind Santa Cruz de la Sierra and El Alto). [4] Its metropolitan area – which includes the cities of El Alto and Viacha – is the most populated in the country, with a population of 2.3 million residents. [5] Located in western Bolivia, 68 km southeast of Lake Titicaca, La Paz is located in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River and is surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano, including the imposing Illimani snow- capped mountain, whose silhouette has been the most important emblem of the city since its foundation. [6] [7] At an average altitude of 3650 meters above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital in the world as well as one of the highest cities in the world. [8] [9] [10]

Due to its elevation, La Paz has a high-altitude subtropical climate, with rainy summers and dry winters.

La Paz was founded on October 20, 1548 by the Spanish conqueror Alonso de Mendoza in the Inca settlement of Laja with the name of Our Lady of La Paz, in commemoration of the pacification of civil wars in the Viceroyalty of Peru.

The city was later moved to its current location in the Chuquiago Marka valley. [11] La Paz was initially controlled by the Spanish rule of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata as a transit city established on the commercial route between Potosí and Lima. Subsequently, the city experienced numerous revolts in favor of its independence, the most important being the revolt of 1781, when the indigenous leader Túpak Katari, besieged the city for six months and that of July 16, 1809, when the patriot Pedro Domingo Murillo began a revolution in the city, starting the Spanish American wars of independence. [12]

As the seat of government of Bolivia, La Paz is home to the Palacio Quemado (seat of the Bolivian executive power), the Palace of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly (seat of the legislative power), and numerous government departments. The city of Sucre remains, however, the constitutional capital of the country and retains the judiciary. It is also worth mentioning that most of the diplomatic embassies and foreign missions that arrive in Bolivia are located in La Paz.

Over the years, the city of La Paz became an important political, administrative and economic-financial center of Bolivia ; and it is responsible for generating 25% of the country’s gross domestic product, as well as being the headquarters of numerous Bolivian companies and industries. [13]

La Paz also stands out for being an important Latin American cultural center due to its colonial legacy and its indigenous presence; It is home to several important monuments and sites, such as the Basilica of San Francisco, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza Murillo and Calle Jaén. The city is also known for its unique markets, particularly the Witches’ Market, and for its vibrant nightlife. [14] [15]

Its rugged topography offers unique views of the city and the Cordillera Real from various natural viewpoints. La Paz is also home to the tallest and longest air cable transportation system in the world. [16]

Since 2012, the city is in the Global Cities index, considered a “Gamma” global city by the GaWC. [17]

Since December 7, 2014, La Paz is considered internationally as one of the seven wonder cities of the world. See population of Bolivia.


The city of La Paz was founded on October 20, 1548 by Captain Alonso de Mendoza in the Inca town of Laja as part of the Corregimiento de La Paz and to serve as a resting point for travelers traveling between Potosí and Cusco. [twenty]

Three days later it was moved further east, to a place with a temperate climate located on the edge of the plateau, [21] where the streams and the valley begin, called Chuquiago Marka [22] (in Aymara, chuqiyapu means ‘gold farm’ ; probably named for the exploitation of gold nuggets in the small rivers of the place) [23]

La Paz was firmly controlled by Spain, the Spanish king had the last word in all political matters. In 1781 there was an indigenous revolution, led by Túpak Katari, which besieged the city, preventing the passage of people and goods, in addition to attacking it by throwing stones from the hills and setting fire to roofs. [24]

As an administrative unit, during the colony it was an integral part of the Corregimiento de La Paz and the Intendencia de La Paz.

Led by Pedro Domingo Murillo and other local leaders, the struggle for independence from Spanish rule brought uprisings against royalist forces. The city took up arms on July 16, 1809 against the Spanish Empire and established the first free Government of Latin America, forming a Tuitive Board on July 22, 1809. In the proclamation of this Junta Tuitiva that can be read: «Compatriots: up to now we have tolerated a kind of exile in the very bosom of our country; […] we have kept a silence quite similar to stupidity ». This marked the formal beginning of the liberation of South America against the Spanish Empire.

Shortly after the Junta was dissolved by the royalists, and on January 29, 1810 Pedro Domingo Murillo and his collaborators were hanged in the Plaza de los Españoles. Before dying he would pronounce his most famous phrase: “Compatriots, I die, but the torch that he left on no one will be able to put out, long live freedom!” His name would be remembered in the name of the square.

The department of La Paz in which the municipality is located was created by Supreme Decree of January 23, 1826 together with the departments of Chuquisaca, Potosí, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba during the Government of Antonio José de Sucre.

After the federal war of 1898-1899, La Paz assumed the seat of government (executive and legislative powers), thus becoming the de facto political seat in the national administration. The contest pitted liberals from the north against conservatives from the south who wanted the seat of government to stay in Sucre. This situation was established on October 25, 1899, the date on which General José Manuel Pando assumed the presidency of the Republic as a result of the triumph of the Federal Revolution.

On July 22, 2007, the Grand Cabildo was held, where approximately two million residents of the city of La Paz and El Alto endorsed the permanence of the seat of Government in this city.

History of La Paz, Bolivia

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