.

MundoAndino Home : Argentina Guide at MundoAndino

Salta


Salta is a city in northwestern Argentina and the capital city of the Salta Province. Along with its metropolitan area, it has a population of 464,678 inhabitants as of the , making it Argentina's eighth largest city.

Overview

It is situated in the Lerma Valley, 1,152 meters above sea level, at the foothills of the Andes mountains.

The weather is warm and dry, with annual averages of 756 mm of rainfall and an average temperature of 16.4 C . January and February are the months with greatest rainfall. During the spring, Salta is occasionally plagued by severe, week long dust storms.

Nicknamed Salta la Linda ("Salta the Fair"), it has become a major tourist destination due to its old, colonial architecture and the natural scenery of the valleys westward. Attractions in the city proper include the 18th century Cabildo, the neo-classical style Cathedral, and the July 9 central square. The city's museums exhibit a wide range of artifacts and art work from the native civilizations that flourished in the area , as well as from the 16th century Spanish conquest and the colonial and post-colonial periods. Salta is also the starting point of the "Train to the Clouds" (Tren a las nubes), and on the way to red-soiled Cafayate, as well as to other nearby tourist destinations.

The Martin Miguel de Guemes Airport, 6 kilometres southeast of the city, has regular flights to Buenos Aires, Tucuman, Jujuy, Cordoba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia).

History

Salta was founded on April 16, 1582 by the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma, who intended the settlement to be an outpost between Lima, Peru and Buenos Aires.

During the war of independence, the city became a commercial and military strategic point between Peru and the Argentine cities. Between 1816 and 1821, the city was led by local military leader General Martin Miguel de Guemes, who under the command of General Jose de San Martin, defended the city and surrounding area from Spanish forces coming from further north.

Salta emerged from the War of Independence politically in disarray and financially bankrupt, a condition that lingered throughout much of the 19th century. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the arrival of Italian, Spanish and Arab immigrants, particularly Syrians and Lebanese, revived trade and agriculture all over the area while further enhancing the city's multicultural flavor.

Attractions

The city center features a number of impressive buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th and early 20th centuries. Clockwise around the Ninth of July Square are the neoclassical Cathedral, the French style Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cabildo and the neoclassical Museum of High Mountain Archeology, which houses artifacts from the Inca civilization, including the magnifically preserved mummies of three Inca children. The Plaza is almost completely surrounded by a gallery, and its beauty inspired a Chivas Regal TV ad, aired in 2004

Within walking distance of the 9th July Square are the impressive Saint Francis Church and the city's two pedestrian streets: Alberdi and Florida. The three blocks in Balcarce street closest to the train station are now the center of night life in Salta, with restaurants, pubs and cafes on both sidewalks and concerts every night.

Rising imposingly in the east is San Bernardo Hill. Its summit, from which visitors can get an awe-inspiring view of the city and the entire valley, can be reached by car, cable car or stairway.

File:Catedral de Salta (552008).jpg|The main cathedral

File:Teatro de Salta.jpg|Victoria Theatre

File:Calle Mitre - Salta.jpg|Mitre Street

File:Hotel Colonial - Salta.jpg|The Colonial Hotel

File:Plaza 9 de Julio - Salta.jpg|Ninth of July Plaza

File:Cabildo - Salta (5708).jpg|Colonial Cabildo

Culture and Arts

Salta is probably the most Spanish-like city in Argentina, so much so that visiting tourists from Spain often find a strong resemblance between Salta and Andalucian cities. The local culture, however, is a blend of Spanish and gaucho traditions, lending the city a distinctive identity, somewhat different from the more European-like metropolises in the south.

The city boasts three theaters, several museums and a busy calendar of art exhibitions, shows, music festivals and other cultural events.

One of the main activities in Salta is the April Culture Festival, which lasts the entire month and offers a wide variety of activities, such as culture display performances, handcrafts exposition, and live orchestra performances.

Sports

Salta residents, just like most Argentines, are very enthusiastic about football; the most important local clubs are: Juventud Antoniana, Gimnasia y Tiro de Salta and Central Norte. All three of them are followed by many faithful fans. Juventud Antoniana and Central Norte currently play at third division, while Gimnasia y Tiro plays in the fourth division. Other popular sports are baseball (a game in which Salta players excel nationally), basketball, volleyball, rugby and mountaineering.

Salta's main sport venue is the Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium, followed by the Gimnasia y Tiro Stadium and the Juventud Antoniana stadium. The largest roofed facility is the Ciudad de Salta Stadium, used mainly for basketball, volleyball and boxing.

Over the last 20 years Salta has become host to high profile international sport events, such as the 1990 Basketball World Cup, the 1994 Camel Trophy, the 2002 Volleyball World Cup and the 2009 Hockey Champions Challenge. The Pumas, Argentina's national rugby team, have played in Salta against Italy (2005) and England (2009). Top football clubs, including Boca Juniors, River Plate and Racing, have played friendly games in Salta in summer, off-season matches.

Notable People

Caloi, cartoonist

Jorge Horacio Brito, banker, businessman

Laureano Brizuela, singer

Mariano Boedo, statesman

Los Chalchaleros, folk music band

Los Nocheros, folk music band

Juan Carlos Davalos, poet and writer

Julia Elena Davalos, folk singer

Martin Miguel de Guemes, general

Carlos Ibarguren, academic, politician

Cesar Isella, folk singer

David Kavlin, TV host

Luciano Leccese, footballer

Lucrecia Martel, film director

Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, former economy minister

Robustiano Patron Costas, infamous sugar tycoon

Luciana Pedraza, actress

Victorino de la Plaza, vice-president of Argentina

Luis Sillero, footballer

Jose Evaristo Uriburu, president of Argentina

Jose Felix Uriburu, de facto president of Argentina

Jose Valdiviezo, footballer

Christian Rodrigo Zurita, footballer

Facundo de Zuviria, lawyer, statesman

Trivia

The film Taras Bulba, starring Yul Brinner and Tony Curtis, was largely shot in the hills west of the city, near San Lorenzo.

Actor John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard & Smallville) was part of the cast of Cocaine Wars, another film shot in Salta.

Two Hollywood celebrities have married Salta-born girls: Matt Damon (to Luciana Bozan Barroso), and Robert Duvall (to Luciana Pedraza).

External links

How to reach Salta? Find the best road and distances to other cities

Salta Argentina Complete information of Salta Argentina and more.

http://www.iruya.com - Oldest web portal about Salta, its history, tradition and current events since 1997.

Municipality of Salta Official website.

Government of Salta Province Official website.

City history at the Chamber of Deputies website.

Salta Province Tourism Office

Aventura Argentina Tours Info on some of the National Parks and other sites around Salta. Great images.

Destino Exotico Adventure Tourism and Services in North of Argentina

Destinosalta.com Tourist information and technical guide

Salta - Lodging Finder.

Images of the city and province

Photographs of Salta

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Capitals of Argentine provinces or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Salta


Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009