|Founded||19 December 1802|
|• Mayor||Ramiro Bardales Vigo|
|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 located in the northern highlands of Peru and is the capital of the Cajamarca region. It is approximately 2,700 m (8,900 ft) above sea level and has a population of about 283.767 people. Cajamarca has an equatorial climate so it is mild, dry and sunny, which creates very fertile soil. The city is well known for its cheeses and dairy products. Cajamarca is also known for its churches, and hot springs, or Inca Baths. There are also several active mining sites in surrounding areas. Most of all, Peruvians remember Cajamarca as the place where the Inca Empire came to an end; the Battle of Cajamarca and the capture, abuse, and murder of the Incan emperor Atahualpa took place here.
The origin of the city goes back over 2000 years. Traces of pre-Chavín cultures can be seen in surrounding archaeological sites such as Cumbe Mayo and Kuntur Wasi. During the period between 1463 and 1471, Tupac Inca conquered the area and brought Cajamarca into the Tawantinsuyu, or Inca Empire, which at the time was still being ruled by Tupac's father Pachacuti.
Cajamarca's place in history is secured by the events of 1532. Atahualpa had beaten his brother Huáscar in a battle for the Inca throne in Quito. 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. Fernando de Soto and friar Vicente de Valverde delivered the "Requerimiento". Atahualpa refused, effectively giving Pizarro the excuse to declare the Inca an enemy of the Church and Spain. Audaciously, the Spanish Conquistadors captured Atahualpa in the Battle of Cajamarca, massacring several thousand unarmed Inca civilians and soldiers.
Once the Spanish had Atahualpa, they held him captive in Cajamarca's main temple. They were able to convince Atahualpa's generals not to attack by threatening to kill their king if they did. But the Conquistadors were also trapped, with only a small force. Atahualpa at first did not fully understand the intentions of the Spanish conquistadors, yet he offered them a ransom for his freedom. The Inca emperor offered Pizarro a room filled with gold and twice over with silver, within two months. The Spanish were pleased by this offer, but never intended to release Atahualpa.
This room became known as El Cuarto del Rescate, or "The Ransom Room". Tourists to Cajamarca can see a room by this name in Cajamarca, but most likely the room was Atahualpa's cell, not his ransom room. In the end Atahualpa had misjudged the Conquistadors; after they had the ransom, they executed him.
In 1986 the Organization of American States declared Cajamarca a Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Americas.
Cajamarca is home to six Christian churches of Spanish influence in a Peruvian and Incan landscape. Out of these six churches, three are most notable for their ornamentation and originality. In November if 1532 Pizarro and his men entered the Incan territory of Cajamarca, this initiated the Spanish and Christian conversion of the indigenous Incas. An Inca temple was immediately transformed into a Christian church dedicated to St. Francis. The style of ecclesiastical architecture differs from other Peruvian cities due to the geographic and climatic conditions. Cajamarca is further north with a milder climate, because of this; stone was used in construction, as opposed to clay in the deserts. The six churches in Cajamarca are San Jose, the Franciscan Recoleta, la Immaculada Concepcion, San Antonio, the Cathedral and El Belen. The most famous of these three are the latter three, all categorized as the “contemporary” churches, constructed in the eighteenth century, El Belen was consecrated in 1677, the Cathedral in 1682, and San Antonio in 1699. It is the sculpted facades of these three contemporary churches that make them so notable in Cajamarca.
The facades of all three churches, The Cathedral, San Antonio and El Belen, were all left unfinished, most likely due to lack of funds. The façade of the Cathedral is the largest of the three and most elegantly decorated, yet it is unfinished. El Belen has a complete façade, but with the tower half finished. The San Antonio church is the furthest from completion. 
Cathedral of Cajamarca 
Originally a parish church, the cathedral took 80 years to construct (1682–1762); yet, the façade remained unfinished, even today. The Cathedral is a representation of how the Spanish influence overtook 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 dome over the crossing has been omitted.
Façade: This façade is noted for the detailing of its sculptures and the artistry in carving. Some decorative details found are the 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.” 
San Antonio 
Construction began in 1699, with the original plans laid out 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. Façade: This façade, as mentioned above, is the one that is most unfinished, even today. The design of the façade was modeled after the Cathedral’s façade, but it is a simplified version and the quality is not as astounding.
Church of Belen 
This church consists of a single nave with no lateral chapels. The Church of Belen’s façade is the most complete out of the three, but it is also the first to be designed and built. Therefore, it differs the most from the Cathedral and San Antonio. 
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Cajamarca is home to two universities. The National University of Cajamarca is a public university while Universidad Privada Antonio Guillermo Urrelo is a private one, additionally another 4 universities have branches in town Universidad Antenor Orrego, Universidad San Pedro, Universidad Alas Peruanas, Universidad Los Angeles, Universidad Privada del Norte. Cajamarca is also home of one of the oldest high schools in the country: Colegio San Ramon. Some of the largest, most important schools include Marcelino Champagnat, Cristo Rey, Santa Teresita, and Juan XXIII.
Cajamarca is served by the My. Gral. FAP. Armando Revoredo Iglesias Airport. Cajamarca is also serviced by major bus lines, like Transportes Linea and Cruz del Sur.
A railway to connect mines in the region to a Pacific Ocean port is proposed.
Cajamarca is home to the annual celebration of Carnaval, a time when the city's citizens and Peruvians from all over the north of the country come together to celebrate the beginning of Lent. Revelers celebrate Carnaval through parades and pageants, and also through the throwing of paint and water on pedestrians.
Further reading 
- Conquest of the Incas. John Hemming, 1973.
See also 
- "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)
- 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
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