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Santiago del Estero

Santiago del Estero is the capital of Santiago del Estero Province in northern Argentina. It has a population of 244,733 inhabitants, making it the twelfth largest city in the country, and a surface of 2,116 km. It lies on the Dulce River and on National Route 9, at a distance of 1,042 km north-northwest from Buenos Aires. Santiago del Estero is the oldest city founded by Spanish settlers in Argentina that still exists as such, estimated to be 455 years old, according to historical sources of Argentina. As such, it is nicknamed "Madre de Ciudades" (Mother of Cities), as it is the first city founded in the actual territory of Argentina. It was officially declared "Mother of cities and Cradle of Folklore"

The city houses the Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero, founded in 1973, and Universidad Catolica, founded in 1960. Other points of interest include the city's Cathedral, the Santo Domingo Convent, and the Provincial Archeology Museum.

The Santiago del Estero Airport at coordinates is located 6 kilometres north of the city, and has regular flights to Buenos Aires and Tucuman.

The climate is subtropical with a dry season usually winter, and sometimes autumn. It receives an average annual precipitation of 300 mm, and the climate is warm and dry

Santiago del Estero and its region are home to about 100,000 speakers of the local variety of Quechua, making this the southernmost outpost of the language of the Incas. This is one of the few indigenous languages surviving in modern Argentina.


After a series of exploratory expeditions from Chile starting in 1543, Santiago del Estero del Nuevo Maestrazgo was founded on July 25, 1553 by Francisco de Aguirre (although some historians consider its true foundation to be in 1550). Although it is the oldest city in Argentina, it preserves little of its former colonial architecture, except for several churches.

The city was the capital of the Intendency of Tucuman during the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata, and first seat of its bishop; those were later moved to Salta and Cordoba respectively.

Santiago del Estero stands in the middle of an extensive but largely semi-arid agricultural region. Originally a forest area, their forests were exhausted by timber industries of British capital during the 19th century.

The province, in 1948, elected a young Peronist activist by the name of Carlos A. Juarez as its Governor. Santiago del Estero's central political figure during the late 20th Century, Carlos Juarez was as energetic as he was ambitious and he soon became indispensable to local politics (even out of power). A true Caudillo (strongman), his amiable demeanor belied a profound ruthlessness and, meanwhile, Santiago del Estero remained one of the poorer provinces in Argentina, falling further behind.

In 1993, the city made international headlines when rioting erupted around the governor's mansion. What began as a protest by government workers who had not been paid in 3 months, soon grew to 4,000 demonstrators who burned cars, sacked and burned government buildings and even invaded the homes of prominent politicians.

Juarez, by the 1990s, was readily ordering his opponents' deaths, notably that of former Governor [[w:es:Cesar Iturre|Cesar Iturre]] in 1996 and of Bishop [[w:es:Gerardo Sueldo|Gerardo Sueldo]] in 1998. The 2002 deaths of two local young ladies, however, were traced to Juarez's assassin, [[w:es:Antonio Musa Azar|Antonio Musa Azar]] and in an attempt to retain power, Juarez resigned .

The bid failed, however, as President Nestor Kirchner signed an executive order removing Mrs. Juarez from her post, in March, 2004. The Juarez couple, in their nineties, now live under house arrest in the city of Santiago del Estero.


Some important figures related to the history of Santiago del Estero are Colonel Juan Francisco Borges, leader of the Independence War (ancestor of writer Jorge Luis Borges), the 19th-century painter Felipe Taboada, as well as the revolutionary leaders Mario Roberto Santucho and Francisco Rene Santucho, founders of the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores and the Ejercito Revolucionario del Pueblo .

In the field of the arts, the town has provided important representatives, such as Ramon Gomez Cornet, Carlos Sanchez Gramajo, Alfredo Gogna, Ricardo and Rafael Tourino in plastic arts and Jorge Washington Abalos, Bernardo Canal Feijoo, Clementina Rosa Quenel, Alberto Tasso, Carlos Virgilio Zurita and Julio Carreras (h) in literature.

Santiago's musical heritage is one of the most important cultural aspects of the city, with typical folklore chacarera and zamba. Some renowned artists and groups include the Manseros Santiaguenos, the Abalos Brothers (particularly Adolfo and Alfredo Abalos), Jacinto Piedra and Raly Barrionuevo.

See also

1817 Santiago del Estero earthquake

External links

Santiago del Estero Culture, art, myths: in Spanish.

Municipality of Santiago del Estero

Municipal info

Historia de Santiago del Estero

Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero

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

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