La Paz, Bolivia

Sucre and La Paz, Bolivia

Sucre (Bolivia) (O, J)

The historic city of Sucre, located in the foothills of Sica and Churuquella, in the center – south of Bolivia, is an excellent example of the intact and well-preserved architectural mix achieved in Latin America through the assimilation of local traditions. and styles imported from Europe. It was founded by the Spanish in the first half of the 16th century, being the first capital of Bolivia. Due to its great cultural values, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991.

Founded by the Spanish by Pedro de Anzures, Marqués de Campo Rotondo, in 1538 as Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo in the lands of the Yampara, where the indigenous culture of the Characas confederation settled. Its foundation was the result of mining activities supervised by Gonzalo Pizarro, who was interested in exploring the eastern region of the highlands of the Andean Cordillera. In 1559, the Spanish King Felipe II ordered the founding of the Audiencia de Characas, based in the city of La Plata, the administration of the eastern territories.

La Plata was for many years the judicial, religious and cultural center of the region. The city was renamed in honor of the late leader of the struggle for Independence, Antonio José de Sucre in 1839, when it was declared the first capital of Bolivia.

The historic city was designed according to a simple urban plan, with patterned checkerboard streets, similar to other towns founded by the Spanish in America in the 16th century. The mineral wealth of the nearby city of Potosí, influenced the economic development of La Plata, which was also an important cultural center (University of Saint-François -Xavier, the Royal Carolina Academy and the Santa Isabel de Hungria Seminary) and the seat of the Characas Hearing, forerunner of the current Supreme Court. In 1609, the city became the seat of an archbishopric and during the 17th century, La Plata served as a religious center for the eastern territories of Spain. Many religious buildings located in the 113.76 hectares of the historic center of the city, bear witness to the time that marked the beginnings of the Spanish city, including the churches dating from the 16th century, such as the Convent of San Felipe de Neri, San Lázaro, San Francisco, Santo Domingo and the Metropolitan Cathedral, whose construction began in 1559 and was completed 250 years later. The Casa de la Libertad, built in 1621 as part of the Jesuit Convent, is considered to be the most important historical monument in Bolivia, since it was here that the events that led to the country’s independence took place. The 18th century buildings are characteristic of the local architecture and similar to those built during the same period in Potosí. The most recent buildings, from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, retain the patios that characterized the early days, but were adapted to the neoclassical style imported from metropolitan Spain. The buildings of Sucre eloquently illustrate the mixture of local traditions and architectural styles imported from Europe, including those of the early Renaissance, Mudejar, Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical, between the 16th and 19th centuries.

La Paz (E, L)

The name of the city, Nuestra Señora de La Paz, was given to it during its foundation by Alonso de Mendoza. It was the third village founded in the current territory of Bolivia after Sucre (1538) and Potosí (1545). Its name commemorates the restoration of peace after the civil war that followed Gonzalo Pizarro’s insurrection against Blasco Núñez Vela, Peru’s first viceroy. History of La Paz of Bolivia can be found on simplyyellowpages.


Colonial architecture

The city of La Paz has a constantly decreasing volume of heritage buildings, including many examples of colonial architecture, especially around the vicinity of Plaza Murillo. Due to lack of funds and the inability of owners to pay for restorations of colonial buildings, many have been torn down in the 20th century or are in a dilapidated state. [29]

Since historic buildings are more expensive to maintain, it is less of a burden to pay to construct modern buildings rather than maintain old ones. Although there have been a growing number of restoration projects and projects, the future of these historic buildings remains uncertain, at the moment campaigns were launched to preserve these heritage houses to improve the appearance of the city after its appointment as a wonder city, for at the moment they are no longer collapsing due to a municipal ordinance, but unfortunately they are still in a dilapidated state [30]

An example of colonial architecture is Calle Jaén, whose structure and buildings have been preserved.

Republican architecture

Republican architecture in La Paz is represented by houses of French and Italian influence located in the center of the city and in small family houses in Miraflores, the Government Palace – called Palacio Quemado – is an outstanding example of the style, as is Laikacota houses, unfortunately a large part of these houses outside the Laikacota area in Miraflores are being destroyed to build modern buildings, and there is no law that protects these historic houses in the city.

Modern architecture

During the 20th century, buildings influenced by the modern style were built in the city, an example of them are the houses of Miraflores and Sopocachi with aerodynamic lines and little ornamentation. The organicist architecture proposed by the architect Juan Carlos Calderón is exemplified in the Telecommunications Palace as well as various private homes. La Paz also has the tallest and most modern buildings in the country.

Contemporary architecture

Contemporary architecture is represented by buildings of international influence and high technology that are represented in the center and south of the city. At the same time, popular culture has developed an eclectic style with a profusion of colors called “chola architecture”, mainly exemplified in the west slope of town.

La Paz, Bolivia