Chachapoyas is a city in northern Peru at an elevation of 2,235 meters . The city has a population of approximately 20,279 people. Situated in the mountains far from the Peruvian coast, Chachapoyas remains fairly isolated from other regions of Peru. There is daily service by bus to Chiclayo and Cajamarca. Although there was a local airport, flight service was limited.
The city of Chachapoyas is the capital of the Amazonas Region. It was founded on September 5, 1538 by the Spanish conquistador Alonso de Alvarado "and his twenty". Local agriculture includes sugar cane, orchid and coffee growing.
Named San Juan de la Frontera de los Chachapoyas, the city was first established near La Jalca, and then near Levanto. The city's original locations were abandoned due to climate, disease and a lack of defenses against rebelling local groups. Several times the city changed locations, until it was settled in the place that it occupies now at 2334 m. At first the date of settlement had not been specified. It is believed that the Spanish colonials moved the city to its present location several years later, in 1545.
The city still preserves its wide colonial casonas of big courts and lounges, with roofs made of tiles. Its Plaza de Armas is located to the west of the city and it is a perfect quadrilateral of 100 m. by side. On the south side is located the monument to the Hero of Arica, colonel Francisco Bolognesi.
From the route of Bagua towards the Mayo River and Huallaga Central, a branch detaches itself, following the course of the Utcubamba River and leading to Chachapoyas.
The city's geographical location has determined its isolation until recently, when better roads were constructed between Chachapoyas and the cities of the northern Peruvian coast. Chachapoyas is unique for its climate and mountain range scenery. One of the peculiarities of this scenery are its extensive and matted wooded formations. During the rainy season, these formations are covered with a thick haze, from where the city's name may be derived . Another interpretation of the name Chachapoyas is the one that alludes its meaning of "strong male". This meaning was reaffirmed by the courage of those who faced the Tupac Inca Yupanqui and his 40 thousand soldiers with tenacious resistance.
Jiron Triunfo (Victory Street) is the principal street of the city. It is called by this name because the victorious Chachapoyanos of Higos Urco entered the city through here.
To the east of the city is located the Independence Square. In this square there is a monument to the Chachapoyas heroes of the Higos Urco battle, on June 6, 1821. It is said that Saint Anna's Square was the first square in the city. Here the first church of Chachapoyas was built. People used to celebrate the San Juan de los Indios' festivities in this square with eight days of bullfights.
From the viceroyalty period dates the legend that the Indian chief Pantoja asked the viceroy for permission to put a gold roof in his house. This and other treasures would be hidden in one of the 40 caves that surround the city.
Luya Urco is located to the west of the city at the foot of the hill bearing the same name. In this place there is the traditional well of Yanayacu, that is a legends motive.
This fountain of legend was in the skirt of Luya Urco hill and had two jets, one of good and one of evil. According to the legend, when a person drank water from the first jet, love was born, but from the second one hate or negligence was produced. In the city, it was said that the foreigner who drank from this "fountain of love", would be forever captivated by its beautiful women and its wonderful grounds that are full of delight.
At one time there was a lagoon surrounded with totoras (a type of bulrush) and palm trees. From these plants, wood was extracted to build the temples of the city. The Kuelap stadium is now in this location.
Legon Hill is located in the town of Higos Urco, at 2 km from the city of Chachapoyas. In this place the famous battle against the Spanish realists occurred.
Municipality of Chachapoyas
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