|From top: Cathedral of Cajamarca, Belen Church, partial view of the city|
|Founded||circa 1450 by the Incas; Spanish settlement in 1532|
|• Mayor||Ramiro Bardales Vigo|
|• Total||392.47 km2 (151.53 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,750 m (9,020 ft)|
|• Metro density||40.79/km2 (105.6/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PET (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||PET (UTC-5)|
Cajamarca (Spanish pronunciation: [kaxaˈmaɾka]) is the capital and largest city of the Cajamarca Region as well as an important cultural and commercial center in the northern Andes. It is located in the northern highlands of Peru at approximately 2,750 m (8,900 ft) above sea level and has an estimated population for 2014 of about 218,775 inhabitants.
Among its tourist attractions, Cajamarca has numerous examples of Spanish colonial religious architecture, beautiful landscapes, pre-hispanic archeological sites and hot springs at the nearby town of Baños del Inca (Baths of the Inca). The history of the city is highlighted by the Battle of Cajamarca, which marked the defeat of the Inca Empire by Spanish invaders as the Incan emperor Atahualpa was captured and murdered here.
The city and its surroundings have been occupied by several cultures for more than 2000 years. Traces of pre-Chavín cultures can be seen in nearby archaeological sites, such as Cumbe Mayo and Kuntur Wasi.
In 1532 Atahualpa defeated his brother Huáscar in a battle for the Inca throne in Quito (in present-day Ecuador). On his way to Cusco to claim the throne with his army of 80,000 soldiers, he stopped at Cajamarca. Francisco Pizarro and his 168 soldiers met Atahualpa here after weeks of marching from Piura. The Spanish Conquistadors and their Indian allies captured Atahualpa in the Battle of Cajamarca, where they also massacred several thousand unarmed Inca civilians and soldiers.
Having taken Atahualpa captive, they held him in Cajamarca's main temple. Atahualpa offered his captors a ransom for his freedom: a room filled with gold and silver (possibly the place now known as El Cuarto del Rescate or "The Ransom Room"), within two months. Although having complied with the offering, Atahualpa was brought to trial and executed by the Spaniards.
In 1986 the Organization of American States designated Cajamarca as a site of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Americas.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In November 1532 Pizarro and his men entered the Incan territory of Cajamarca. As more colonists and missionaries arrived, they worked to convert the indigenous people to Christianity. Incas. They first adapted an Inca temple as a Christian church dedicated to St. Francis.
The style of ecclesiastical architecture in the city differs from other Peruvian cities due to the geographic and climatic conditions. Cajamarca is further north with a milder climate; the colonial builders used available stone rather than the clay of used in the coastal desert cities.
Cajamarca has six Christian churches of Spanish colonial style: San Jose, La Recoleta, La Immaculada Concepcion, San Antonio, the Cathedral and El Belen. The latter three are the most noted, all built in the seventeenth century. Their sculpted facades and ornamentation are considered remarkable.
The facades of these three churches were left unfinished, most likely due to lack of funds. The façade of the Cathedral is the most elegantly decorated, to the extent that it was completed. El Belen has a completed façade of the main building, but the tower is half finished. The San Antonio church is left most incomplete.
Church of Belen
Cathedral of Cajamarca
Originally designated to be a parish church, the cathedral took 80 years to construct (1682–1762); the façade remains unfinished. The Cathedral shows how colonial Spanish influence was introduced in the Incan territory.
Side Portals: The side portals are made of pilasters on corbels. It also bears the royal escutcheon of Spain. The portal is considered to have a seventeenth-century character, found in the rectangular emphasis of the design.
Plan: The plan of the cathedral is based on a basilica plan, (with a single apse, barrel vaults in the nave, a transept and sanctuary), but the traditional dome over the crossing has been omitted.
Façade: The façade is noted for the detailing of its sculptures and the artistry in carving. Decorative details onclude grapevines carved into the spiral columns of the cathedral, with little birds pecking at the grapes. The frieze in the first story is composed of rectangular blocks carved with leaves. The detail of the main portal extends to flower pots and cherubs’ heads next to pomegranates. “The façade of Cajamarca Cathedral is one of the remarkable achievements of Latin American art.”
Construction began in 1699, with the original plans made by Matias Perez Palomino. This church is similar in plan to the Cathedral, but the interiors are quite different. San Antonio is a significantly larger structure and has incorporated the large dome over the crossing. Features of the church include large cruciform piers with Doric pilasters, a plain cornice, and stone carved window frames.
Cajamarca is surrounded by a fertile valley, which makes this city an important center of trade of agricultural goods. Its most renowned industry is that of dairy products. Yanacocha is an active gold mining site 45 km north of Cajamarca, which has boosted the economy of the city since the 1990s.
The only airport in Cajamarca is Armando Revoredo Airport located 3.26 km northeast of the main square. Cajamarca is connected to other northern Peruvian cities by bus transport companies.
Construction of a railway has been proposed to connect mining areas in the region to a harbor in the Pacific Ocean.
Cajamarca is home of one of the oldest high schools in the country: San Ramon School, founded in 1831. Some of the largest, most important schools in the city include Marcelino Champagnat School, Cristo Rey School, Santa Teresita School, and Juan XXIII School.
Cajamarca is also a centre of higher education in the northern Peruvian Andes. The city hosts two local universities: Universidad Nacional de Cajamarca (National University of Cajamarca), a public university, while Universidad Antonio Guillermo Urrelo is a private one. Four other universities have branches in Cajamarca: Universidad Antenor Orrego, Universidad San Pedro, Universidad Alas Peruanas, Universidad Los Angeles de Chimbote and Universidad Privada del Norte.
Cajamarca is home to the annual celebration of Carnaval, a time when the locals celebrate Carnivals before the beginning of Lent. Carnival celebrations are full of parades, autoctonous dances and other cultural activities. A local Carnival custom is to spill water and/or some paint among friends.
- "Mantecoso Cheese in Peru". Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- "Cajamarca, Peru". Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- Harold E. Wethey, Colonial Architecture and Sculpture in Peru (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1949), 129-139
- Damian Bayon and Murillo Marx, History of South American Colonial Art and Architecture (New York: Rizzoli Publications, 1992)
- Conquest of the Incas. John Hemming, 1973.
- Cajamarca travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Cajamarca map
- Cajamarca information, photos and travel
- Miracle Village International a charity that works in Cajamarca with
- Villa Milagro
- Davy College
- MSN Map
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cajamarca.|