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Piura is a city in northwestern Peru. It is the capital of the Piura Region and the Piura Province. The population is 400,000.

It was here that Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro founded the first Spanish city in South America, San Miguel de Piura, in 1532. Piura declared its independence on January 4, 1821.


Like most of northern Peru, the territory of Piura had been inhabited by their autochthonous group of natives called tallanes (caribbean origin) and yungas. These lived without an organization or single leader to rule until the Mochicas eventually took control and the mixture of these evolved into the Vicus Culture. Centuries later, Piura came under the rule of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, at least for around 40 years and before the Spanish arrived.

With the arrival of the Spanish in 1532, the mestizo and creole culture of actual Piura were born. This mestizo culture includes influences from Spanish Extremadura and Andalucia, African influence due to the arrival of slaves from Madagascar (Malgache slaves), the Chinese coolies that migrated from Canton to work the rice fields and replace the slaves; and also Roma Gypsies who came as pirates looking for pearls or as incongite Spanish horsemen.

Colonial legacy

Piura served as the first main port through which the Inca gold the Spaniards had gathered was shipped back to Spain. Already in 1534, Sebastian de Belalcazar, one of Pizarro's men, left Piura to conquer the Inca bastion in Quito.

As the most ancient colonial city in Peru, its location was changed three times before it was established on its present location. The cathedral of Piura was built in 1588. The altar is covered in gold leaf and has a painting of Ignacio Merino, a renowned Peruvian artist.

Present Piura

The main of the two campuses of the University of Piura is located locally, while the other is in Lima. The city is well known for its artisans who weave straw hats and make silverware. A museum commemorating the memory of Miguel Grau, a renowned Peruvian naval officer in the War of the Pacific, is located in Piura.


Piura has many tourist attractions. One of the best known is Colan beach. Colan beach is a very long beach with warm waters. Local people like to go there during holidays.

It is served by the Cap. FAP Guillermo Concha Iberico International Airport.

Culture and folklore

Piura is host to a stunning mestizo culture most famous for gastronomical dishes like Seco de Chavelo (the local dish), Algarrobina drinks, many types of Cebiche and Natilla Sweets. Popular crafts are the Chulucana Pottery and Catacaos is famous for its "Hats" and "Silversmith" arts. The Tondero and cumanana is the traditional music of mestizo Piura and northern parts Lambayeque. There are also several famous Peruvian valse that came from these regions (northern Peruvians have their style). "Chicha music", now called Tecnocumbia (originally a Peruvian styled cumbia), is also quite popular all over, as well as Salsa among youngsters.

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

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