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La Rioja, Argentina

La Rioja is the capital city of the Argentine province of La Rioja, located on the east of the province. The city has a population of almost 150,000 as per the .

La Rioja is located on the foot of the Velasco Sierras, 1,167 km from Buenos Aires, and 430 km from Cordoba. It is one of the most arid and least populated provinces of Argentina. The Capitan Vicente Almandos Almonacid Airport at coordinates is 7 kilometres away from La Rioja, and serves regular flights to Buenos Aires and Catamarca.

Former president Isabel Martinez de Peron was born in La Rioja. Another former president, Carlos Menem, was born nearby.


The weather is dry and semi-desertic with, average temperatures of 5 C to 20 C in winter and 21 C to 35 C in summer, but with maximum temperatures of more than 40 C.


Juan Ramirez de Velasco founded the city with the name Todos los Santos de la Nueva Rioja on May 20, 1591, while he was the Governor of the Territories of Tucuman, and in homage to the region of La Rioja in Spain.

Around the time of the Easter celebrations of 1591 approximately 9,000, of the estimated 11,000 indigenous people living in the surrounding area, attacked the stronghold of La Padercitas in La Rioja as a protest to the poor treatment they received from the Spanish settlers. During this time the Spanish settlers looked to San Francisco Solano to re-establish the peace.

La Rioja was always the principal settlement of the province. The only time it was surpassed in population was in the mid 1800's when Chilecito, a small settlement near the Chilean boarder based around the Hacienda Santa Rita, became the largest town in the province. It wasn't until the early 1900's that La Rioja regained the status of being the largest city.

The city was the only settlement of some importance in the territory of the present province, and when an earthquake severely damaged the city in 1894, it had only 8,000 inhabitants. In was not until the 1970s that the population of the city, and of the province, started growing considerably.


The economy of the entire province is historically tied to cattle farming and agriculture, as well as wine production. But the beginning of the 1970s brought to the city an industrialisation thrust that makes La Rioja today an important centre in Argentina's pharmacological industry.

The majority of La Rioja's working class find employment in construction, however, La Rioja's economy is also fueled by tourism hosting trips to scenic locations such as Chilecito and Talampaya National Park. The summer harvest, or "La Cosecha," is also a large employer. During la cosecha, many Riojanos find work in nearby green olive plantations, vineyards, and cotton fields, as well as the factories that bottle and distribute these products. La Rioja is also home to The Argentine National University of La Rioja, the university has brought students and professors to the city for work and study since its establishment in the 1970's.


Catholics: Cathedral of La Rioja (showing in image above), Church of San Francisco, Convento of Santo Domingo, Church of La Merced

Pentecostals: The Pentecostal Gospel Church of La Rioja

Evangelists: There are various independent Evangelist churches of different creeds in La Rioja.

Mormons: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has several congregations and chapels in La Rioja.

External links

Official page (Spanish)

City Information (English)

Universidad Nacional de La Rioja (Spanish)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article La Rioja, Argentina

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