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La Paz, Bolivia

Reference work entry

Introduction

Situated in the Andes in the northwest of Bolivia near the Peruvian boarder, La Paz lies along a deep 5 km-wide valley. The centre runs along the Choqueyapu River and the Cordillera Real Mountains form the city’s backdrop. At an altitude of 3,600 m, La Paz is the world’s highest capital. Although Sucre is the judicial capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the administrative, economic financial and commercial capital and is the seat of the country’s government. The city has the largest population in Bolivia.

History

La Paz was founded on the site of the Inca settlement of Chuquiabo (‘gold field’) in 1548 by the Conquistador Alonso de Mendoza, chosen for the presence of gold in the Choqueyapu River. It was named Nuestra Señora de la Paz in celebration of the end of conflict in Peru between Conquistadors and Incas. Despite the short-lived gold interest, the location was an important commercial point on the trade route between Potosí, important for the presence of silver, and Lima,...

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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