Pisco is a city located in the Ica Region of Peru, the capital of the Pisco Province. The city is around 9 metres (28 feet) above sea level. Originally the villa of Pisco was founded in 1640, close to the indigenous emplacement of the same name. Pisco is a Quechua word that means "bird." Pisco originally prospered because of its nearby vineyards and is the namesake of the Peruvian grape liquor, pisco.
The area is normally visited because of the concentration of marine animals and birds at the Paracas National Reservation, or the Peruvian Galapagos. At the reserve there are the Ballestas Islands, which are off limits to people, but boat tours can get close. The Chincha Islands are also near its coast. On the islands there are many birds, including pelicans, penguins, cormorants, Peruvian boobies, and Inca terns. There are also sea lions, turtles, dolphins, and whales.
Another attraction in the area is "El Candelabro", a giant lamp dug in the rough sand in the method use by the creators of the Nazca Lines. The origins of "El Candelabro" are not known and theories vary. Experts are divided over the authenticity of the lines.
The Pisco origins are from one of the major ancient civilizations in Peru, the Paracas culture. Due to its ease of access, and its crossroads to the Andes the Spanish considered making Pisco the capital, before they decided on Lima.
In the city is the Plaza de Armas, where people hang out and buy tejas, small sweets made from pecans and assorted dried fruits. Many different building that surround the Plaza are the statue of Jose de San Martin, the mansion he lived in, and the Municipal Palace. Other building in the city is the heavy Baroque Iglesia de la Compania, begun in 1689, features a superb carved pulpit and gold-leaf altarpiece.
Near the town, just off the road to Ayacucho, lies the large well-preserved Inca site of Tambo Colorado.
The city has a population of 116,865 people.
The city was very near the epicenter of the 8.0-magnitude earthquake which struck south central Peru on Wednesday August 15, 2007. Media officials reported that 80% of the city was destroyed, including the central San Clemente Cathedral of Pisco, in which a Mass was occurring at the time of the earthquake. As many as 100 deaths were reported within the cathedral. The church in Plaza de Armas was destroyed during the earthquake while mass was in session killing nearly 150 people.
Pisco and the Paracas National Reserve
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Pisco, Peru