|Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto|
|Nickname(s): "Capital musical de Venezuela" (English: " Musical capital of Venezuela) " " Ciudad Crepuscular" (English: "Twilight City")|
|Founder||Juan de Villegas|
|• Mayor||Henri Falcón (Avanzada Progresista)|
|• Total||276 km2 (107 sq mi)|
|Elevation||566 m (1,857 ft)|
|• Density||324.6/km2 (841/sq mi)|
|Time zone||VST (UTC-4:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC-4:30)|
|Website||Local Government Website (Spanish)|
|The area and population figures are for the municipality|
Barquisimeto (Spanish pronunciation: [barkisiˈmeto]), Venezuelan city, capital of Lara State and head of Iribarren Municipality. It is an important urban, industrial, commercial and transportation center of the country, recognized as the fourth largest city by population and area in Venezuela after Caracas, Maracaibo and Valencia.
Barquisimeto was founded in 1552 by Juan de Villegas, as a headquarter and to have better control of the territory believed to be rich in gold. Its original name was "Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto".
This city had four settlements due to ignorance of the physical environment of the region. The first one was in 1552 nearby Buría River, but moved in 1556 due to frequent floods suffered by inhabitants. The second one was in the valley of the Turbio River where the city stayed until Lope de Aguirre burned it down in 1561. Its rebuilding was made 102 kilometres above (63 miles), but in 1562 they asked for permission to move to another site due to strong winds blowing in the place. Finally, Barquisimeto is located on the north plateau of the Turbio River in 1563.
During the country's independence, Barquisimeto joined the liberation movement and its deputy José Ángel Álamo signed, along with other heroes, the Independence Act on July 5, 1811.
In 1929, the city went through a modernization program carried out by General Eustoquio Gómez. He fixed the streets and avenues and buildings were built, like the Jacinto Lara Headquarters, the Government Palace and the Ayacucho Park.
According the German adventurer Nikolaus Federmann, the Caquetío aborigines used to call it Variquicimeto, which translates as "ash-colored river", the name with which the natives distinguished the water stream near the city. This river was named "Turbio River" by the Spanish conquerors, name that continues to these days. Another possible name origin is due to a red dye called bariquí.
When Juan de Villegas founded it, he named the city "Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto", but years later becomes just "Barquisimeto", a word popularized by Oviedo y Baños in his book "History and Conquest of the Venezuelan Population".
Neighboring Municipalities 
- North: Urdaneta Municipality
- South: Palavecino Municipality
- East: Peña Municipality, Yaracuy State
- West: Jiménez and Torres Municipalities.
Known as the Dusk City due to its beautiful sunsets.
Barquisimeto is located on the terrace of the same name, on the banks of the Turbio River, 622 meters above sea level (2042 ft) and a population that exceeds 800,000 inhabitants. It has a location on the central western of Venezuela (363 km from Caracas -225 miles-, the country's capital city), being a point of convergence of many of the major land routes and rail, characterized also by its street order and appropriate signage due to the location of the city with a relief almost completely flat, which facilitated the distribution of the urban grid and with the streets numbered in ascending numerical order, factors that help the foreign citizen and easily locate addresses. Its climate is pleasant in the months of December to March, with an average temperature of 26°C (79°F) throughout the year.
In the city, the cool climate is dominant. Located in that region, Barquisimeto records 650 mm of rain per year and its average temperature ranges 19 and 28 °C (66-82°F).
Although, in higher regions near the Andes, temperatures are lower and the rain is more constant. For instance, in Sanare city, the annual index of precipitations is 835 mm.
Large-magnitude earthquakes (Richter's scale):
- 6.6 (8/3/1950)
- 5.6 (3/5/1975)
- 6.3 (9/12/2009)
|Average high °C (°F)||29.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||24.1
|Average low °C (°F)||18.6
|Rainfall mm (inches)||9
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||1.5||1.2||1.7||5.5||7.9||12.0||10.6||8.1||5.8||6.1||6.4||4.0||70.8|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||260.4||237.3||241.8||183.0||192.2||201.0||232.5||241.8||228.0||226.3||222.0||248.0||2,714.3|
|Source #1: Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (INAMEH)|
|Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory |
Law and government 
Barquisimeto has one municipality: Iribarren Municipality. Venezuelan law specifies that municipal governments have four main functions: executive, legislative, comptroller, and planning. The executive function is managed by the mayor, who is in charge of representing the municipality's administration. The legislative branch is represented by the Municipal Council, composed of seven councillors, charged with the deliberation of new decrees and local laws. The comptroller tasks are managed by the municipal comptroller's office, which oversees accountancy. Finally, planning is represented by the Local Public Planning Council, which manages development projects for the municipality.
The economic potential of the city is tied to the small, medium and large industry, that has access to regional and national markets, with a great perspective of internationalization thanks to its convenient access to the sea by rail via Puerto Cabello. The food trade is the city's main commercial activity, thanks to its advantageous geographic location which generates an influence area (hinterland) that covers near 6 million inhabitants. In addition of the food industry, plastics, textiles, paper, dairy, farming and automotive industry, represents the main industries of the city.
Barquisimeto is a city with a historic vocation by academic knowledge, and boasts a considerable sample of universities and institutes of higher education in Venezuela, has a high and growing student population from all over the country. Its geographical location, the hospitality of its people and favorable social and economic conditions has led to the migration of many young people from other places in search of knowledge.
Lisandro Alvarado Central-Western University 
Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado or UCLA (not to be confused with Southern California's University of California, Los Angeles) is a public institution with seat in Barquisimeto, created on September 22, 1962, under the government of Romulo Betancourt, under the name of Experimental Center for Superior Studies, it began with four schools: medicine, agronomy, veterinary and administration. In 1967, the name was changed to Central-Western University, continuing the educational and administrative activities of the Experimental Center of Superior Studies. On April 2, 1979, The Venezuelan government renamed the organization Lisandro Alvarado Central-Western University.
Antonio José de Sucre National Experimental Polytechnic University 
Universidad Nacional Experimental Politécnica Antonio José de Sucre or UNEXPO, is a public institution, with a small campus in Carora. The history of the University begins with the proposal from the UNESCO to the Venezuelan government, to install a Technological Institute in the country, offering technical attendance, and resources. Three cities were interested in the offer, Caracas, Valencia and Barquisimeto, being chosen the last one like principal seat, thanks to the campaign made by the Society of Friends of Barquisimeto, with the support of the Lara state government and the mass media. On September 22, 1962, the Superior Polytechnic Institute was founded, with its main seat in Barquisimeto, and on February 20, 1979, the Antonio José de Sucre National Experimental Polytechnic University was created, the institutes of Barquisimeto, Caracas and Puerto Ordaz, happened to integrate this university of high hierarchy in the national technology. By a lamentable decision of the national government, through Decree Number 68, on April 19, 1979, it countermanded the creation of the University. Twelve years later, on February 14, 1991, the Venezuelan court countermanded Decree Number 68 and consequently reinstated the University.
Other universities and colleges 
- Public institutions
- National Polytechnic Experimental University Antonio José de Sucre (UNEXPO)
- Libertador's Experimental and Pedagogical University (UPEL)
- Andrés Eloy Blanco's Territorial and Polytechnic of Lara University (IUETAEB - former Andrés Eloy Blanco's Experimental and Technology Institute)
- National Open University (UNA)
- Simón Rodríguez's National Experimental University (UNESR)
- Central University of Venezuela (UCV - Barquisimeto's Regional Center)
- Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV)
- National Experimental University of the Armed Forces (UNEFA)
- Private institutions
- Fermin Toro University (UFT)
- Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB)
- Táchira's Catholic University (UCAT)
- Yacambú University (UNY)
- Fermin Toro College (CUFT)
- Rodolfo Loero Arismendi Technology and Industrial Institute (IUTIRLA)
- National Institute of Socialist Education and Capacitation (INCES)
- Antonio José de Sucre Technology Institute (IUTAJS)
- Jesús Obrero Institute (IUJO)
The mode of transportation most commonly used are the “rapiditos”, old automobiles with an average capacity of 5 passengers, with a route similar to the buses and used mainly to shuttle people between downtown and the suburbs, like the shared cabs in other countries.
The Transbarca trolleybus system is a new "bus rapid transit" (BRT) system under construction. It is projected to serve an average of 170,000 people per day, using 80 trolleybuses operating along 30 km (19 mi) of exclusive lanes, across the metropolitan area. Service is planned to include an express route of 22 km (14 mi) along with one local route of 8 km (5 mi). With 52 stations, the trolleybus BRT system is to include a centralized system of communication and security, and structures for easy access for elderly and disability people. Also, it has 18 electrical substations. It is to be complemented with feeder routes, covering the areas of Greater Barquisimeto the trolleybus line will not serve, which will connect with the trolleybuses at terminal stations.
- Buses are the main means of mass transportation, the system runs a variety of bus types, operated by several companies on normal streets and avenues:
- bus; large buses.
- buseta; medium-sized buses.
- microbus or colectivo; vans or minivans.
- rapiditos; old cars with capacity for 5 or more people.
The airport is called Jacinto Lara International Airport.
- Cardenales de Lara: (English: Lara Cardinals) is a baseball team in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. Founded in 1942 and based in Barquisimeto, the Cardenales have won four domestic titles, the most recent in 2001, have like seat the Don Antonio Herrera Gutiérrez stadium, with a capacity of 20,450 spectators. This team's fan following is so big that, when they win the finals, the next day is a holiday in all Lara state.
Guaros de Lara: is a basketball team in the Venezuelan Professional Basketball League. Founded in 1983 under the name of Bravos de Portuguesa, with seats in the cities of Acarigua and Araure, in 1992 the team was transferred to Barquisimeto, like Malteros de Lara, in 1995 it adopted the name of Bravos de Lara. Since 2005 the team changed to its present name, Guaros de Lara. Its primary venue is the Domo Bolivariano, an indoor sporting arena with a seating capacity of 10,000.
*Club Deportivo Lara: (English: Laras Sport Club) is a soccer team and it is the actual champion of the Venezuelan Professional Soccer League. It was founded in 2006 as Guaros de Lara FC, they were placed in the Segunda División Venezolana but at the end of the 2006 season the team was promoted to the Primera División Venezolana, after a win in the last round of the Segunda División against Estudiantes de Mérida Fútbol Club that left them in 2nd place of division 2. For the 2007/08 season, Guaros de Lara bought the former outstanding Colombian World Cup goal-keeper René Higuita, who returned to play football at the age of 41. In 2009 the club was sold in an effort to fight against the other clubs for the championship and changed its name to Club Deportivo Lara.As Club Deportivo Lara Lara, it was born July 1, 2009 through the purchase of the club by some employers (Arid García, Luis Yepez, Juan Conde, Carlos Hernandez) and the former team had been struggling financially. This new policy for football betting in the state lara and I think this team under the slogan "Believe in Lara." The team achieved its first year stay in the top four of the cumulative overall, just behind Caracas FC, Deportivo Italia and Deportivo Táchira and, the latter being the worst hit since the last dates of the Apertura and Clausura was severed its aspiration in the hands of the team. Until Torneo Apertura 2011 when they became champion of Venezuelan Professional Soccer League.
Sites of interest 
Barquisimeto Athenaeum 
On October 8, 1986, this Athenaeum was created by a group of cultural promoters, poets, writers, educators and sociocultural workers. This institute was created under the fundamental principle, for the rescue of the traditions and customs of the city, so that can be constituted a legacy for future generations, and thus to reinforce the culture of Barquisimeto.
The obelisk 
This is the symbol of Barquisimeto, created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city. Constructed in 1952 by the engineer Rafael Jose Raga, it is a concrete and steel structure of 75 meters of height, provided with an elevator. The elevator, however, has been out of use for years and the front entrance of the "Obelisk" (which is so in name only since it is flat on top) is used to store materials lying around the grounds surrounding.
Barquisimeto Museum 
This structure dates from 1579, when it was the site of the “San Lazaro” Hospital. Later in 1877, it was reconstructed as "La Caridad" Hospital. Finally, in 1939, the Hospital was named "Antonio Maria Pineda" and moved to another location, leaving this building empty. Years later it became the site of the Barquisimeto Museum.
Juares Theater 
This theater is located in the center of the city and was inaugurated in 1905 with the name of "Municipal Theater", and was reconstructed almost totally for the four hundred year anniversary of Barquisimeto. It has been witness to the growth and history of this population. It has hosted the works of a great number of artists of diverse sorts: dance, song, ballet and theater, among others. It has a special attraction for the tourists, due to its structure and the different cultural manifestations of the city and the country that are represented there. This theater was the first in Lara state.
Divina Pastora 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009)|
The Divina Pastora (Divine Shepherdess), a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus and a sheep, is one of the most important religious icons of Venezuela. It is the local representation of the Virgin and the patron saint of the city and of the Venezuelan National Militia.
Each January 14, the statue is carried by 6 to 10 men and women, accompanied by a procession of more than 2 million people, some barefoot and carrying crosses, from the Church of Santa Rosa, in the village of Santa Rosa near the city, to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Barquisimeto. During the next couple of months, on Her return trip, She stops at other churches in Barquisimeto, arriving back to Santa Rosa in time for Palm Sunday. According to the history books[which?], this tradition comes from Seville, Spain. A Capuchin friar, Isidore of Seville, had a dream in which he saw an image of the Divina Pastora. Days later, he gave to the artist Miguel Alonso de Tovar, a detailed description of his vision, so that he could paint it. The painting of the virgin with pastoral hat, covered by a blue mantle, holding a boy in her left hand and a lamb in her right one, was called "Divina Pastora de Almas". Later, the sculptor Francisco Antonio Gijón, made a life-sized sculpture of the Divina Pastora, which was carried in its first procession in 1705.
The devotion to the Divina Pastora in Venezuela, dates from 1736, when the parish priest of the town of Santa Rosa commissioned a sculptor to make a statue of the Immaculate Conception. Unexpectedly, the figure that was delivered was of the Divina Pastora. The priest wanted to return it, but the packing crate could not be lifted. The whole town took this as a sign that the statue wanted to remain in Santa Rosa. In 1855 the status of the Divina Pastora as the patron saint of the Venezuelan state of Lara was further established, when a cholera epidemic occurred, striking a great number of families in Barquisimeto. Desperate, they implored the Divina Pastora for help. It is said that Father Jose Macario Yépez, parish priest of the La Concepción church of Barquisimeto, offered himself before the Virgin, to be the last victim of the disease. Some accounts say that the priest died six months later and that the epidemic then left the city; others indicate that his supplications stopped the epidemic immediately.
The January 14th procession commemorates this event. It is a festive occasion, with countless street vendors selling anything from food to liquor and small religious figurines along the route that snakes through the city. Every year the Virgin is dressed differently by a local fashion designer and Her gown is donated by devotees paying penance.
See also 
- Lara state
- List of cities in Venezuela
- List of wine-producing regions
- Railway stations in Venezuela
- "Estadísticos Básicos Temperaturas y Humedades Relativas Máximas y Mínimas Medias" (pdf). INAMEH (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "Estadísticos Básicos Temperaturas y Humedades Relativas Medias" (pdf). INAMEH (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "Climatological Information for Barquisimeto, Venezuela". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "Divina Pastora: Patrona de la Milicia Nacional Bolivariana" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-08-24.
- "Catedral Metropolitana de Barquisimeto" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-08-24.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Barquisimeto|
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