1902 Encyclopedia > La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia

LA PAZ, officially La Paz De Ayacucho, in memory of the battle of Bolivian independence, is the capital of Bolivia, at the head of a department of its own name.

It lies in 16° 30’ S. lat and 68° W. long., at the height of 11,970 feet above the sea, in the valley of the Chuquiapo or Rio de la Paz, at the base of the Cordillera real, which rises with imposing cliffs another thousand feet above it.

About 40 miles to the east of Lake Titicaca, La Paz has regular coach and steamer communication with Puno, and so with Mollendo on the Pacific.

Commercially the town is of very considerable importance as the center of the Bolivia trade in cuca and cinchona.

Among the public buildings are the cathedral founded by Pope Paul V in 1605, and ranking as one of the finest in South America, the church of San Francisco erected by the Jesuits, the university (San Andres), and the president’s palace.

The population, which consists largely of Aymaras, is estimated at between 70,000 and 80,000.

The city dates from 1548, and the name Pueblo Nuevo de N. Senora de la Paz was given by its founder, Alonzo de Mendozo in honor of the reconciliation between Pizarro and Almagro. In 1605 it was made a bishopric.

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