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La Paz

This article is about the administrative capital of Bolivia. For other uses, see La Paz (disambiguation).

Nuestra Senora de La Paz or Chuquiago Marka or Chuqiyapu is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of La Paz Department. As of the 2001 census, the city of La Paz had a population of around one million, and together with neighbour cities of El Alto and Viacha, make the biggest urban area of Bolivia, with a population of around 1.6 million inhabitants


Founded in 1548 by Alonso de Mendoza at the site of the Native American settlement called Chuquiago, the full name of the city was originally Nuestra Senora de La Paz (meaning Our Lady of Peace). The name commemorated the restoration of peace following the insurrection of Gonzalo Pizarro and fellow conquistadors four years earlier against Blasco Nunez Vela, the first viceroy of Peru. In 1825, after the decisive victory of the republicans at Ayacucho over the Spanish army in the course of the South American Wars of Independence, the city's full name was changed to La Paz de Ayacucho (meaning The Peace of Ayacucho).

In 1898, La Paz was made the de facto seat of the national government, with Sucre remaining the nominal historical as well as judiciary capital. This change reflected the shift of the Bolivian economy away from the largely exhausted silver mines of Potosi of tin near Oruro, and resulting shifts in the distribution of economic and political power among various national elites.

La Paz is the highest capital city in the world, and is home to the world's highest golf course. The air is so thin that a well-hit shot will travel several meters farther than at sea level.


At , La Paz was built in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River (now mostly built over), which runs northwest to southeast. The city's main thoroughfare, which roughly follows the river, changes names over its length, but the central tree-lined section running through the downtown core is called the Prado.

La Paz' geography reflects society: the lower you go, the more affluent. While many middle-class pacenos live in high-rise condos near the center, the really rich houses are located in the lower neighborhoods southwest of the Prado. The reason for this division is that the lower you go in the city, the more oxygen there is in the air and the milder the weather is. And looking up from the center, the surrounding hills are plastered with makeshift brick houses of those struggling in the hope of one day reaching the bottom. Its name is translated into English as "Our Lady of Peace"

The satellite city of El Alto, in which the airport is located, is spread over a broad area to the west of the canyon, on the altiplano.

La Paz is renowned for its unique markets, very unusual topography, and traditional culture.

Due to the altitude at which the city is located, temperatures are consistently cool throughout the year, though the diurnal temperature range is typically large. The city has a relatively dry climate, with rainfall occurring mainly in the warmest months of November to March.

See also



Santa Cruz de la Sierra

El Alto


San Pedro prison

La Paz F.C.

External links

Municipal government of La Paz

3dLatinamerica.com Many 3-dimensional high-quality images of La Paz and other cities in Bolivia and Latinamerica (also viewable in standard 2-D)

Museums in La Paz

Excursions in the surrounding of La Paz

High Altitude Pathology Institute IPPA La Paz

Google Map of La Paz with marks

Bolivian Music and Web Varieties

Bolivian Yellow Pages

17 pictures of La Paz

The world's most dangerous road

Biking on the ROAD OF DEATH

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

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