The ancestors of the Aymara Indians began to settle in the current territory of Bolivia in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca in the 13th century BC. e. They founded the first agricultural settlements here. For all the time of development of these lands, the state of Tiahuanaco reached its highest prosperity, which in the 3-10 centuries AD. was the most significant state of pre-Inca America. In the 14th century, the Incas captured this territory and included it in their empire as one of the provinces. The Incas resettled the tribes of the Quechua Indians on the enslaved lands.
The 16th century was marked by the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in South America. In 1538, the Inca Empire was easily conquered by the Spaniards, because it was weakened by numerous wars for a place on the throne. The Spaniards founded the settlements of Chuquisaca (present-day Sucre), Potosí and La Paz on the territory of present-day Bolivia, and called these lands Upper Peru. In 1776, Upper Peru became part of the new Spanish Viceroyalty of La Plata (with Buenos Aires as its capital). Bolivia was of great importance for the colonialists, because vast deposits of silver were discovered here. The labor of the Indians was used in the mines, they carried lifelong service, and this could not but affect the attitude of the Indians towards the Spaniards. Periodically, the Indians raised uprisings against the colonialists. They reached their apogee in 1824, when the revolutionary army under the command of General Antonio José de Sucre, sent by Simon Bolivar, defeated the Spanish troops at the Battle of Ayacucho. On August 6, 1825, the independence of the province of Upper Peru was proclaimed. The new state was named Bolivia (in honor of Simon Bolivar), and the capital of the state Chuquisaca was renamed Sucre. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Bolivia.
Since the declaration of independence in 1825 and the approval of the first constitution by Simón Bolivar in 1826, there have been about 190 coups d’état in the country. In addition, the disputes between Bolivia and Chile over the part of the Atacama desert belonging to Bolivia, rich in saltpeter deposits, led to the devastating Pacific War in the 80s of the 19th century. As a result of the war, a peace treaty was signed, according to which Bolivia refused in favor of Chile from the coastal areas that belonged to it. In the 30s of the 20th century, Bolivia waged war with Paraguay (Chac war) for a desert territory, where there were supposedly large oil deposits. The country was defeated in the war, which also undermined the economy of Bolivia. From 1964 to 1982, military regimes of various political orientations were in power in Bolivia.
It was not until October 1982 that a democratic system of government was restored in Bolivia. Now, in terms of national income per capita, Bolivia occupies one of the last places in Latin America.
RUINS OF ANCIENT CITIES
The Altiplano plateau is home to many archaeological sites where ancient Inca cities have been excavated. Almost all of them are connected on foot “Inca trails” with similar Peruvian ancient cities. 72 km from La Paz is the ruins of the ancient city of Tiahuanaco. This city-state was the most advanced civilization in the period from the 3rd to the 10th century AD. Today, in this place, archaeologists have unearthed the Gate of the Sun, which stands at the entrance to the city, the Akapana pyramid, in the Kalasasaya excavation area – two huge monoliths, as well as an underground temple, the walls of which are decorated with megalithic masonry.
The city of Samaipata is located in the eastern part of the country. In its vicinity, on a small reddish mountain, there is the archaeological site of El Fuerte. It is believed that an Inca city flourished here in the 14th-16th centuries. The ruins that have survived to this day were part of the sacred ceremonial complex. Here you can see rock paintings depicting animals. El Fuerte has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Both of these sites – El Fuerte and Tiahuanaco – are the most popular archaeological sites in Bolivia.
The city of Copacabana was founded in 1574 on the southwestern shore of Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, it is located at an altitude of 3812 m, its area is 8446 square meters. km. Copacabana – a great place to relax. Copacabana has hotels, restaurants, a beautiful promenade where you can take a walk, colorful festivals are held here every year. Among the sights of the city, one can single out the Convento de Santa Teresa Cathedral, the statue of the Black Virgin, which is the patron saint of these places, and the Museum of Archeology with collections of items from the time of ancient Inca civilizations. From the Chero Calvario hill at the northern end of the coastline, there is a beautiful view of the lake.
In Capacabana you can rent a boat and take a tour of the lake. You can go to Isla Suriki, where reed boats “totora” are made; Uros that moves within the lake; Isla Calahuta, where the graves of the pre-Columbian era are located, and Isla Incas, which, according to legend, is connected to the Inca capital of Cusco by a network of underground tunnels.