La Paz

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This article is about the city which is the Bolivian seat of government. For other uses, see La Paz (disambiguation).
Nuestra Señora de La Paz
Flag of Nuestra Señora de La Paz
Flag
Official seal of Nuestra Señora de La Paz
Seal
Motto: [2] Los discordes en concordia, en paz y amor se juntaron y pueblo de paz fundaron para perpetua memoria
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is located in Bolivia
Nuestra Señora de La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz
Location of La Paz within La Paz Department.
Coordinates: 16°30′S 68°09′W / 16.500°S 68.150°W / -16.500; -68.150Coordinates: 16°30′S 68°09′W / 16.500°S 68.150°W / -16.500; -68.150
Country  Bolivia
Departament La Paz
Province Pedro Domingo Murillo
Founded
October 20, 1548 by Alonso de Mendoza
Independence July 16, 1809
El Alto incorporated 20th century
Government
 • Mayor Luis A. Revilla Herrero[3]
Area
 • City 472 km2 (182 sq mi)
 • Urban 3,240 km2 (1,250 sq mi)
Elevation 3,640 m (11,942 ft)
Population (2008[4])
 • City 877,363
 • Density 1,861.2/km2 (4,820.6/sq mi)
 • Metro 2,364,235
Time zone BOT (UTC−4)
Area code(s) 2
HDI (2010) 0.672 (high)[5]
Website www.lapaz.bo

Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈnwes.tɾa seˈɲoɾa ðe la pas]; English: Our Lady of Peace; Aymara: Chuquiago Marka or Chuqiyapu), commonly known as La Paz (/lɑː ˈpɑːz/; Spanish pronunciation: [la ˈpas][6]), is Bolivia's third[7] most-populous city,[4] the seat of the country's government and the capital of La Paz Department. It is located on the western side of Bolivia at an elevation of roughly 3,650 m (11,975 ft) above sea level.

It is, de facto, the world's highest administrative capital.[8] While the official capital of Bolivia (and its seat of justice) is Sucre, La Paz has more government departments.[9]

The city sits in a bowl surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano. As it grew, the city of La Paz climbed the hills, resulting in varying elevations from 3,200 to 4,100 m (10,500 to 13,500 ft). Overlooking the city is towering triple-peaked Illimani, which is always snow-covered and can be seen from many parts of the city, including from the neighboring city of El Alto. As of the 2008 census, the city had a population of 877,363.[10]

La Paz Metropolitan area, formed by the cities of La Paz, El Alto, and Viacha, make the most populous urban area of Bolivia, with a population of 2.3 million inhabitants and surpassing the metropolitan area of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.[11]

History[edit]

Main article: History of La Paz
Government Palace of Bolivia in downtown La Paz

Founded in 1548 by the Spanish conquistadors at the site of the Native American settlement, Laja, the full name of the city was originally Nuestra Señora de La Paz (meaning Our Lady of Peace). The name commemorated the restoration of peace following the insurrection of Gonzalo Pizarro and fellow conquistadors four years earlier against Blasco Núñez Vela, the first viceroy of Peru. The city was later moved to its present location in the valley of Chuquiago Marka.[12]

Control over the former Inca lands had been entrusted to Pedro de la Gasca by the Spanish king (and Holy Roman Emperor) Emperor Charles V. Gasca commanded Alonso de Mendoza to found a new city commemorating the end of the civil wars in Peru; the city of La Paz was founded on October 20, 1548.

In 1549, Juan Gutierrez Paniagua was commanded to design an urban plan that would designate sites for public areas, plazas, official buildings, and a cathedral. La Plaza de los Españoles, which is known today as the Plaza Murillo, was chosen as the location for government buildings as well as the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Spain controlled La Paz with a firm grip and the Spanish king had the last word in all matters political. In 1781, for a total of six months, a group of Aymara people laid siege to La Paz. Under the leadership of Tupac Katari, they destroyed churches and government property. Thirty years later Indians laid a two-month siege on La Paz – where and when the legend of the Ekeko is set. In 1809 the struggle for independence from the Spanish rule brought uprisings against the royalist forces. It was on July 16, 1809 that Pedro Domingo Murillo famously said that the Bolivian revolution was igniting a lamp that nobody would be able to turn-off. This formally marked the beginning of the Liberation of South America from Spain. In La Paz, simultaneously with the city of Sucre, was made the first revolution against the Spanish Crown the 16 July 1809. This event is known as the Primer Grito Libertario de América.

Pedro Domingo Murillo was hanged at the Plaza de los Españoles that night, but his name would be eternally remembered in the name of the plaza, and he would be remembered as the voice of revolution across South America.

In 1825, after the decisive victory of the republicans at Ayacucho over the Spanish army in the course of the Spanish American wars of independence, the city's full name was changed to La Paz de Ayacucho (meaning The Peace of Ayacucho).

Legislative Palace of Bolivia

In 1898, La Paz was made the de facto seat of the national government, with Sucre remaining the nominal historical as well as judiciary capital. This change reflected the shift of the Bolivian economy away from the largely exhausted silver mines of Potosí to the exploitation of tin near Oruro, and resulting shifts in the distribution of economic and political power among various national elites.[13]

Geography[edit]

The city in winter, with Illimani in the background.

Located at 16°30′0″S 68°08′0″W / 16.50000°S 68.13333°W / -16.50000; -68.13333 (−16.5, −68.1333), La Paz is built in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River (now mostly built over), which runs northwest to southeast. The city's main thoroughfare, which roughly follows the river, changes names over its length, but the central tree-lined section running through the downtown core is called the Prado.

The geography of La Paz (in particular the altitude) reflects society: the lower areas of the city are the more affluent areas. While many middle-class residents live in high-rise condos near the center, the houses of the truly affluent are located in the lower neighborhoods southwest of the Prado. And looking up from the center, the surrounding hills are plastered with makeshift brick houses of those less economically fortunate.

The satellite city of El Alto, in which the airport is located, is spread over a broad area to the west of the canyon, on the Altiplano. La Paz is renowned for its unique markets, very unusual topography, and traditional culture.

La Paz is located in the valleys of the Andes, and is closer to the Eastern split of the Altiplano region. Therefore, it is closer to the famous mountains such as the Illimani (guardian of La Paz), Huayna Potosi, Mururata, and Illampu. On the Western side of the Altiplano divide, about an hour to the West of the La Paz, is the site of the tallest mountain in Bolivia and 9th tallest mountain in the Andes, the Sajama Volcano. In July 1994, an earthquake rated at 8.2 struck just 200 miles (322 km) north of La Paz. Part of the water supply is derived from glaciers, which are becoming a less reliable source of water.[14]

Districts and neighborhoods[edit]

Urban Zones of La Paz
Urban areas of La Paz
# Name
1 Mallasa
2 Zona Sur
3 San Antonio
4 Periferica
5 Max Paredes
6 Centro
7 Cotahuma
Neighborhoods of La Paz
Mallasa Amor de Dios • Mallasa • Muela del Diablo • Mallasilla • Jupapina
Zona Sur Obrajes • Bella Vista • Bolonia • Irpavi • Calacoto • Cota Cota • Achumani • Ovejuyo • Koani • La Florida • Seguencoma • San Miguel
San Antonio San Antonio • Villa Copacabana • Pampahasi • Valle Hermoso • Kupini • Villa Armonia • Callapa • San Isidro
Periferica Achachicala • Chuquiaguillo • Villa Fátima • Vino Tinto • 5 Dedos • Santiago de Lacaya • Rosasani
Max Paredes Munaypata • La Portada • El Tejar • Gran Poder • Obispo Indaburu • Chamoco Chico • Munaypata • Pura Pura • Ciudadela Ferroviaria
Zona Centro Casco Urbano Central • San Jorge • Miraflores • San Sebastián • Santa Bárbara • Parque Urbano Central
Cotahuma Sopocachi • Alto Sopocachi • Pasankeri • Tembladerani • Alpacoma • Belén • Tacagua • San Pedro • Bajo Llojeta

Main neighborhoods and zones[edit]

La Paz skyline from the "Via Balcón"
Buildings in San Jorge, on the 1st District (Cotahuma).
San Jorge 
Located in the 1st District (Cotahuma) and near Sopocachi, is one of the main residential and diplomatic areas of the city. In contains several buildings, both residential and offices, and embassies, including the Spain Embassy, the United States Embassy, the United Kingdom Embassy and others. One of the main streets of the city, Arce Avenue, starts on this zone.
Sopocachi 
Located in the 1st District (Cotahuma), Sopocachi is probably one of the oldest residential neighborhoods, 10 minutes from the center of the city. Despite the expansion and development of the area, this quarter maintained its residential property. In the last years, there has been an important commercial expansion, mainly on the surroundings of Abaroa Square, one of the many squares and parks of the zone.
San Pedro 
Located in the 1st District (Cotahuma), on the right bank of the Choqueyapu River and built around the "Plaza de San Pedro" (official name: Plaza Sucre, Sucre Square), is home to numerous shops, businesses and small enterprises, especially printing, spare parts and auto maintenance and repair shops. San Pedro's "Rodriguez Market" remains as one of the most popular middle-class and oldest of the city. The San Pedro prison is here.
Centro 
The city's downtown area, in the 7th District, comprising the center of La Paz and principal roads of the city, like Arce Avenue, July 16 Avenue (also known as "Prado Avenue"), Mariscal Santa Cruz Avenue and Camacho Avenue — the last one being the home of the headquarters of the principal banks and companies of the country.
Casco Viejo 
Located in the 7th District, is the historic and ancient center of La Paz. It now houses museums, hotels, shops and buildings as the Mayor City of La Paz and the Central Bank of Bolivia. In the Old Quarter is the Plaza Murillo, which is home to the Government Palace and the National Congress.
Miraflores 
In the 7th District, Miraflores district is separated from downtown by a long barrel (Parque Urbano Central, "Central Urban Park") and connected by the Bridge of the Americas and two avenues. Originally a residential zone, its growth has led it to become a major recreational center. It houses universities (including the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés's faculty of medicine), hospitals and the Estadio Hernando Siles (capacity of 45,000 people).
Exhibition of Images of La Paz "Outdoor Art", Southern District, Obrajes
Northern District 
Located in the 2nd and 3rd districts, it has a significant industrial activity (mainly food), being the Cervecería Boliviana Nacional (Bolivian National Brewery) the most significant industry founded by Germans, and one of the city's biggest companies in the country. It connects La Paz with the city of El Alto by the autopista (highway).
Southern District 
In the 5th district; has less height than the rest of La Paz (3,200 to 2,800 meters). This area houses the most affluent and exclusive neighborhoods of the city, like Obrajes, Irpavi, Calacoto, La Florida and Achumani, among others. It has been benefited from steady economic growth and is now the second commercial and financial center of the city, housing international firms like Moody's, Citibank, Aon Corporation, Huawei, Millicom International Cellular, Nissan Motor Corporation represented by Taiyo Motors, Pan American Silver Corporation, a Sumitomo Corporation branch, Ernst & Young, and the "MegaCenter", Bolivia's biggest shopping mall (52,000 sq m), Samsung Electronics .

Climate[edit]

At 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) above sea level, higher parts of La Paz have an unusual subtropical highland climate (Cwc, according to the Köppen climate classification), with subpolar oceanic characteristics (the average temperature of the warmest month is lower than 10 °C). The whole city has rainy summers and dry winters. Nighttime temperatures range from cool to cold. Light snow flurries can occur in winter. At these high altitudes despite been located only 16 degrees from the equator, the city's average temperature is similar to that of cities such as Bergen, Norway or Tórshavn, Faroe Islands located as far as 60 and 62 degrees from the equator.

The temperatures in the central La Paz, at 3,600 metres (11,811 feet), and in the Zona Sur (Southern Zone), at 3,250 m (10,663 ft) above sea level, are warmer (subtropical highland climate Cwb,[15] according to the Köppen classification).

Owing to the altitude of the city, temperatures are consistently cool throughout the year, though the diurnal temperature variation is typically large. The city has a relatively dry climate, with rainfall occurring mainly in the slightly warmer months of November to March.

February and March, the two cloudiest months of the year, both in late summer, receive a low daily average of 5 hours of sunshine. Conversely, June and July, the two sunniest months of the year, both in winter, receive an abundant daily average of 9 hours of sunshine.

The seasonally uneven distribution of the year's annual precipitation, often results in destructive mudslides experienced in summer, due to the copious amount of precipitation typically observed throughout the season. The wettest month is January while the driest months are June and July, the city receiving a monthly average of 130 mm (5.1 in) and 5 mm (0.2 in) of precipitation respectively.

Climate data for La Paz, Bolivia (elevation 4,012 m)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27
(81)
20
(68)
26
(79)
30
(86)
30
(86)
23
(73)
22
(72)
21
(70)
23
(73)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
30
(86)
Average high °C (°F) 12
(54)
13
(55)
13
(55)
13
(55)
13
(55)
12
(54)
12
(54)
13
(55)
13
(55)
14
(57)
15
(59)
14
(57)
13
(55)
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.2
(46.8)
8.2
(46.8)
8.1
(46.6)
7.7
(45.9)
6.6
(43.9)
5.4
(41.7)
5.1
(41.2)
6.1
(43)
6.9
(44.4)
8.2
(46.8)
8.9
(48)
8.8
(47.8)
7.35
(45.24)
Average low °C (°F) 3
(37)
3
(37)
3
(37)
2
(36)
0
(32)
−2
(28)
−2
(28)
−1
(30)
0
(32)
2
(36)
3
(37)
3
(37)
1
(34)
Record low °C (°F) 0
(32)
0
(32)
−2
(28)
−2
(28)
−11
(12)
−11
(12)
−10
(14)
−10
(14)
−7
(19)
−3
(27)
−3
(27)
−5
(23)
−11
(12)
 % humidity 78 78.4 77.3 70.1 54.9 51.2 52.6 53.8 59.9 62.5 62 71.2 64.3
Source #1: Weatherbase[16]
Source #2: Climatebase.ru (mean temperatures, humidity)[17]
Climate data for La Paz, Bolivia (elevation 3,250 m)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25
(77)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
22
(72)
21
(70)
22
(72)
22
(72)
27
(81)
24
(75)
25
(77)
24
(75)
27
(81)
Average high °C (°F) 17
(63)
17
(63)
18
(64)
18
(64)
18
(64)
17
(63)
17
(63)
17
(63)
18
(64)
19
(66)
19
(66)
18
(64)
17.8
(64)
Average low °C (°F) 6
(43)
6
(43)
6
(43)
4
(39)
3
(37)
1
(34)
1
(34)
2
(36)
3
(37)
4
(39)
6
(43)
6
(43)
4.0
(39.2)
Record low °C (°F) 1
(34)
2
(36)
2
(36)
−1
(30)
−1
(30)
−3
(27)
−3
(27)
−3
(27)
−1
(30)
−1
(30)
−1
(30)
2
(36)
−3
(27)
Precipitation mm (inches) 114
(4.49)
107
(4.21)
66
(2.6)
33
(1.3)
13
(0.51)
8
(0.31)
10
(0.39)
13
(0.51)
28
(1.1)
41
(1.61)
48
(1.89)
94
(3.7)
575
(22.64)
Avg. precipitation days 21 18 16 9 5 2 2 4 9 9 11 18 124
Mean monthly sunshine hours 186 141 155 180 248 270 279 248 210 186 180 186 2,469
Source: BBC Weather[18]

Colonial architecture[edit]

The city of La Paz has a consistently decreasing volume of colonial buildings, mostly centered around the vicinity of the Plaza Murillo. Due to a lack of funds and the inability of property owners to pay for restorations to colonial buildings, many have been torn down, or are in a dilapidated state. As historic buildings are more expensive to keep, land owners find it less of a burden to construct more modern buildings as opposed to keeping the old ones. Although there has been an increasing number of projects and propositions to restore some of the city's colonial buildings, the future of these historic edifices remains uncertain.

Economy[edit]

Central Bank building

The economy of La Paz has improved greatly in recent years, mainly as a result of improved political stability. Due to the long period of high inflation and economic struggle faced by Bolivians in the 1980s and early 1990s, a large informal economy developed. Evidence of this is provided by the markets found all around the city. While there are stable markets, almost every street in the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods has at least one vendor on it. La Paz remains the principal center of manufacturing enterprises that produce finished-product goods for the country, with about two-thirds of Bolivia's manufacturing located nearby. Historically, industry in Bolivia has been dominated by mineral processing and the preparation of agricultural products. However, in the urban centre of La Paz, small plants carry out a large portion of the industry. Food, tobacco products, clothing, various consumer goods, building materials, and agricultural tools are produced. "The tin quotations from London are watched in La Paz with close interest as an index of the country's prosperity; a third of the national revenue and more than half of the total customs in 1925 were derived from tin; in short, that humble but indispensable metal is the hub around which Bolivia's economic life revolves. The tin deposits of Bolivia, second largest in the world, ... invite development."

Sports[edit]

La Paz is the home of some of the biggest football teams in Bolivia.

  • The Strongest : Founded in 1908 the club hosts some of its games and trains on their home stadium. It is the oldest team in Bolivia, and the one that has won the most tournaments during the 20th century. It has its own stadium named Rafael Mendoza after Don Rafael Mendoza, one of the most important presidents of the club. In 1968 an airplane accident took the life of almost all the players, but Rafael Mendoza made many efforts that allowed the team to rise again as one of the most important in the country.
  • Club Bolivar : Founded in 1925, it was named in honor of the Libertador Simón Bolívar, the team has won most of the tournaments national and international championships in the last 20 years. In the year 1964 was a bad year, and it lost the category, playing the next year in the second category.
  • La Paz F.C. : Founded in 1989, the club quickly rose through the ranks to become the third major club in the capital, only behind in popularity to the two well-established city rivals.

The city is host to several other teams that play in the first and second divisions such as:

With the exception of Deportivo Municipal and Unión Maestranza, all the other teams play the majority of their games in the city stadium, the Estadio Hernando Siles, which also hosts the national football team and international games. Always Ready frequently play at the Estadio Rafael Mendoza which belongs to The Strongest, who rarely use the stadium due to its relatively small capacity.

Education[edit]

The city hosts some of the most important universities of the country:

Foundation University World Ranking 2012 (CSIC Webometrics)[19] Latinoamerica Ranking 2012 (CSIC Webometrics)[20] Academic Production(Ranking Scimago Lab) National Ranking[19] Logo Web
1830-10-25 Universidad Mayor de San Andrés UMSA Estatal 2266 182 - 2 UMSA
1994-03-21 Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo UCB Privada 3449 308 - 3 UCB
- Universidad Central de Bolivia UNICEN Privada 4919 489 - 5 UNICEN
- Universidad Privada del Valle UPV Privada 7686 757 - 8 UPV
- UP Boliviana UPB Privada 8206 822 - 9 UPB[dead link]
1950 Escuela Militar de Ingeniería EMI Estatal 10670 1103 - 13 EMI
- Universidad Salesiana de Bolivia Privada 11280 1174 - 16 Salesiana
- Universidad Nur Bolivia Privada 12461 1333 - 18 NUR
- Universidad Loyola Privada 13398 1499 - 20 Loyola
- Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar Bolivia UASB Estatal 13418 1506 - 21 UASB

Tourism[edit]

Tiwanaku Square in front of the football stadium

La Paz is an important cultural center of Bolivia. The city hosts several cathedrals belonging to the colonial times, such as the San Francisco Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral, this last one located on Murillo Square, which is also home of the political and administrative power of the country. Hundreds of different museums can be found across the city, the most notable ones on Jaén Street, which street design has been preserved from the Spanish days and is home of 10 different museums.

The home of the Bolivian government is located on Murillo Square and is known as "Palacio Quemado" (Burnt Palace) as it has been on fire several times. The palace has been restored many times since, but the name has remained untouched.

Principal attractions[edit]

Museums and cultural centers[edit]

  • The former home of Pedro Domingo Murillo, martyr of the independence revolution of 1809, has been preserved and is now a museum. The house displays a collection of furniture, textiles, and art from colonial times.
  • Museo Costumbrista: Displays ceramic dolls wearing traditional customs that show how was life in the early 19th century. Also on display are photos of old La Paz.
  • Museo Nacional de Arqueología (National Museum of Archeology): Depicts a collection of artifacts of the Tiawanaku culture.
  • Museo del Litoral (Museum of the Litoral Coastal Region): Displays objects from the 1879 war in which Bolivia lost its sea coast to Chile.
  • Museo del Oro (Gold Museum): Depicts pre-Conquest works made of gold, silver and copper.
  • Museo de Etnografía y Folklore (Ethnography and Folkolore Museum): Located in a house built during the late 18th century, it exhibits customs and art of two ethnic groups: Chipayas and Ayoreos.
  • Museo del Charango (Museum of Charango): Located in Calle Linares, the museum displays an important variety of charangos. Other native instruments are displayed as well.
  • Museo de Historia Natural (Natural History Museum): Exhibits on Bolivian paleontology, geology, zoology and botanical elements of interest.
  • Casa Museo Marina Nuñez del Prado (Marina Nuñez del Prado House Museum): Displays Quechua and Aymara-theme sculptures by Bolivian artist Marina Nuñez del Prado.
  • Museo Nacional de Arte (National Art Museum): Located in Calle Comercio, on a former palace built in 1775, displays works by Melchor Perez de Holguín and Marina Nuñez del Prado, among others.
  • Mercado de Brujas (Witches' Market): Merchandise sold here includes herbs, remedies as well as other ingredients used in Aymara traditions.
  • Feria de Alasitas: This fair is celebrated for two weeks each year, beginning January 24. The central figure is a little god of abundance known as Ekeko, which means dwarf in Aymara.
  • Museo San Francisco Cultural Center

Churches and cathedrals[edit]

Metropolitan Cathedral
San Francisco Church
  • Metropolitan Cathedral, built in 1835 and located next to the Presidential Palace, on Murillo Square;
  • San Francisco Church, founded in 1548 and rebuilt 1784.

Other attractions[edit]

Local festivals[edit]

  • January 24: Alasitas is a yearly fair where people buy miniature gifts and praise the god of prosperity, Ekeko. The fair begins every January 24 and lasts for a month.
  • February 2: Virgen de Copacabana, (Villa Copacabana)
  • May 1: San José Obrero (V. Nuevo Potosí)
  • May 3: Señor de la Santa Cruz (Calvario, Tacagua, Calacoto)
  • May 13: Virgen de Fátima (Villa Fátima)
  • May 14: San Isidro, Labrador (San Isidro)
  • May 17: Señor de la Sentencia (Villa Armonía)
  • May: Jesus, Señor del Gran Poder (movible, Gran Poder)
  • June 13: San Antonio de Padua (San Antonio)
  • June 24: San Juan Bautista (Valle Hermoso, San Juan)
  • June 29: San Pedro Apóstol (San Pedro)
  • July 16: Virgen del Carmen, Patroness of Bolivia and the Armed Forces of the Nation Efemerides of La Paz
  • July 25: Apóstol Santiago (Munaypata, Pampahasi, Pasankeri, Periférica, Alto Delicias)
  • August 15: Virgen de Urqupiña (Urkupiña)
  • August 15: Virgen de la Asunción (Villa Victoria)
  • September 8: Virgen de las Nieves (V. Copacabana, M. Paredes, La Portada, Achachicala, Alto Irpavi, Cotahuma, Las Nieves)
  • September 8: Virgen de los Remedios (Miraflores)
  • September 14: Señor de la Exaltación (Obrajes, G. de Lima, Bajo Tejar, Vino Tinto)
  • September 24: Virgen de la Merced (Cota Cota)
  • October 7: Virgen del Rosario (El Rosario)
  • November: Cristo Rey (Pura Pura)
  • December 4: Santa Barbara (Santa Bárbara, Llojeta)
  • December 8: Virgen de la Concepción (Kupini, Sopocachi, Achumani)

Transportation[edit]

Air[edit]

Waiting area in El Alto International Airport for domestic flights.

La Paz is served by El Alto International Airport (IATA code: LPB), which is situated eight miles (13 km) south-west of La Paz. At an elevation of 4,061 metres (13,323 feet), it is one of the highest major airports in the world. Airport facilities include a bank, bars, car rentals, restaurants, free wi-fi internet and duty-free shops. The runway has a length of 4,000 metres (2.5 mi). Additionally, it is the second airport in the Western Hemisphere, and the third airport in the world, to successfully pass the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Universal Security Audit Program (USAP).

Bus[edit]

Bus Station

La Paz Bus Station, originally a bus and train station, was built by the French architect Gustave Eiffel. It is the main gateway for inter-city buses with several daily departures to all the main Bolivian cities, and routes to Chile and Peru. The city is connected by road with the city of Oruro from where there are routes to Sucre, Potosí and the south of the country. Another highway branches off before Oruro to reach Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Roads to the west go to Copacabana and Tiwanaku, near Lake Titicaca, and continue to Cuzco, Peru via the border town of Desaguadero. There are also roads north to get to Yungas crossing the Andes Mountains.

Departures to smaller cities and towns within the department use informal stations located in Villa Fátima (departures to Los Yungas, Beni and Pando), Upper San Pedro (for Apolo) and near the General Cemetery (for Copacabana, Lake Titicaca, or via Tiwanaku to Desaguadero on the Peruvian border).

Cable car system[edit]

Red line cable car connecting La Paz and El Alto
Main article: Teleférico La Paz

A system of urban transit cable cars was opened in 2014. Currently three lines are in operation, and the construction of five further lines were announced by President Evo Morales. All three lines were built by the Austrian company Doppelmayr. The first two lines (Red and Yellow) connect La Paz with El Alto.

Cable car system La Paz
Line Length Travel time Stations opened
Red Line 2.4 km 10 min 3 May 2014
Yellow Line 3.9 km 13.5 min 4 September 2014
Green Line 3.7 km 16.6 min 4 December 2014

Communications and media[edit]

  • The postal service is run by ECOBOL (National Company) which has its headquarters in La Paz. There are other companies offering courier and transport logistics courier nationally and internationally.
  • The private telecommunications company 'Entel' is located in the city and provides telephony, Internet, cell phone, data and voice services. The telephone cooperative Cotel is responsible for managing much of their phones and now offers Internet services and cable television among others.
  • Area Code: 2
  • Country Code: 591
  • The main daily newspapers in circulation are: Página Siete, La Razon, El Diario, La Prensa, Jornada and El Alteño. Other papers of local importance are: Extra and Gente. There are also several other publications and weekly magazines.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

La Paz is part of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities[21] from October 12, 1982 establishing brotherly relations with the following cities:

Additionally, agreement was reached by Twin Cities with:

In June 2008, a twinning agreement was signed with Spain Zaragoza, Spain.

La Paz has been a member of Merco Ciudades, a group of 180 cities within Mercosur,[27] since 1999.

Gallery[edit]

Curiosities[edit]

  • La Paz has the highest elevation of any government city in the world.
  • El Alto International Airport is the highest international airport in the world (13,325 feet, or 4061 metres, above mean sea level). Passengers may notice the drop in pressure when the aircraft doors are opened.
  • Water boils in La Paz at 88 °C (190 °F).
  • La Paz has the highest certified Olympic stadium. FIFA issued a rule forbidding the organization of official matches in stadiums with an altitude of more than 2,500 meters because players may be at greater health risk due to decreased oxygen pressure, but excluded La Paz's Hernando Siles Stadium from that regulation after intense lobbying by Bolivian authorities.
  • The La Paz central bus station was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Spanish) Breve Historia de nuestro país (pág.3)[dead link], Bolivian Government Official Website
  2. ^ http://www.bolivia.com/turismo/ciudades/la_paz/historia.htm
  3. ^ "¿Quién es Luis Revilla?". Luchoporlapaz.com. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  4. ^ a b "World Gazetteer". World Gazetteer. Retrieved 2010-01-31. [dead link]
  5. ^ "W.K. Kellogg Foundation: Overview – Bolivia: La Paz – El Alto". [dead link]
  6. ^ "La Paz". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  7. ^ After Santa Cruz de la Sierra and El Alto.
  8. ^ Quito, Ecuador is the highest official capital.
  9. ^ "The Highest City in the World". Infoplease.com. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  10. ^ Observatorio Bolivia Democrática
  11. ^ "La Paz – profile of geographical entity including name variants". World Gazetteer. Retrieved 2010-07-04. [dead link]
  12. ^ "La Paz". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  13. ^ "La Paz," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008. Archived 2009-10-31.
  14. ^ Shukman, David (2009-12-04). "Glacier threat to Bolivia capital". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  15. ^ "Climate: La Paz (altitude: 3610m) - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  16. ^ "Historical weather for La Paz, Bolivia". Weatherbase. Retrieved January 2011. 
  17. ^ "La Paz, Bolivia". Climatebase.ru. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  18. ^ "BBC Weather - La Paz". BBC Weather. Retrieved July 2013. 
  19. ^ a b IBCE (15 August 2009). "BOLIVIA: RANKING MUNDIAL". Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  20. ^ CSIC (15 August 2009). "BOLIVIA: RANKING LATINOAMERICA". Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Declaración de Hermanamiento múltiple y solidario de todas las Capitales de Iberoamérica (12-10-82)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  22. ^ "Mapa Mundi de las ciudades hermanadas". Ayuntamiento de Madrid. 
  23. ^ "Kardeş Kentleri Listesi ve 5 Mayıs Avrupa Günü Kutlaması [via WaybackMachine.com]" (in Turkish). Ankara Büyükşehir Belediyesi - Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  24. ^ "Pesquisa de Legislação Municipal - No 14471" [Research Municipal Legislation - No 14471]. Prefeitura da Cidade de São Paulo [Municipality of the City of São Paulo] (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  25. ^ Lei Municipal de São Paulo 14471 de 2007 WikiSource (Portuguese)
  26. ^ "Taipei - International Sister Cities". Taipei City Council. Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  27. ^ Mercociudades. "Mercocities: member cities". Mercociudades.org. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 

External links[edit]