Pilar, Paraguay

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Pilar
City
The Cathedral
The Cathedral
Flag of Pilar
Flag
Coat of arms of Pilar
Coat of arms
Pilar is located in Paraguay
Pilar
Pilar
Coordinates: 26°52′12″S 58°18′0″W / 26.87000°S 58.30000°W / -26.87000; -58.30000Coordinates: 26°52′12″S 58°18′0″W / 26.87000°S 58.30000°W / -26.87000; -58.30000
Country Paraguay
Department Ñeembucú
Foundation October 12, 1779
Government
 • Intendente Municipal Carlos Francisco Silva Medina.
Area
 • Total 1,130 km2 (440 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 28,716
 • Density 25/km2 (66/sq mi)
Time zone AST (UTC-04)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-03)
Postal code 2800
Area code(s) (595)(86)

Pilar is the capital city of the Paraguayan department of Ñeembucú, located along the Paraguay River in the southwestern part of the country. Located about 358 km (222 mi) from Asunción, Pilar serves as an important center of commerce and government for the far southwestern region of the country.

History[edit]

Pilar was founded by Pedro Melo de Portugal on October 12, 1779. The original name of the settlement was Villa del Ñeembucú, named for the nearby Arroyo Ñeembucú that flows into the Paraguay River. Four years later it was renamed Villa del Pilar by Spanish priest Marcial Antonio Uliambre, for the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar (Spanish: Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar) in his hometown of Zaragoza.

The old town council building in Pilar is where former president Francisco Solano López is believed to have uttered a now famous phrase in defiance against combatants in the costly Paraguayan War : "Never shall the sacred insignia of my country fall from my hands".

Climate[edit]

Situated near the confluence of the Paraguay and Paraná rivers, Pilar is in a region of the country with many small streams, rivers and wetlands that contribute to a humid climate. The average annual temperature is 22 °C (72 °F). Summer temperatures can reach as high as 40 °C (104 °F), and it winter it drops to as low as 2 °C (36 °F). The rainy months are January, March, April and October; the dryer are May and August. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical Climate).[1]

Climate data for Pilar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 33
(92)
33
(91)
30
(86)
27
(80)
24
(75)
21
(70)
22
(71)
24
(75)
25
(77)
27
(81)
29
(85)
32
(90)
27.3
(81.1)
Average low °C (°F) 19
(67)
22
(71)
20
(68)
17
(62)
14
(58)
13
(55)
12
(53)
12
(54)
14
(57)
16
(61)
18
(65)
20
(68)
16.4
(61.6)
Precipitation mm (inches) 119
(4.7)
130
(5.1)
163
(6.4)
150
(6)
104
(4.1)
86
(3.4)
46
(1.8)
43
(1.7)
79
(3.1)
145
(5.7)
140
(5.5)
114
(4.5)
1,319
(52)
Source: Weatherbase [2]

Demographics[edit]

Pilar has a total population of 29,327, with 14,298 men and 15,030 women, according to information provided by the General Directorate of Statistics, Polls and Census.

Tourism[edit]

The center of the city is home to a large number of historical buildings dating back to the founding of the city.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, whose feast day is celebrated on October 12, is a magnificent church constructed by Italian missionaries to the city.

During Semana Santa the city is the site of a large fishing tournament and competition that attracts participants and spectators from all over Paraguay and Northern Argentina.

The city's location on the Rio Paraguay provides a prime location for boating and fishing. There are walking paths, pavilions, and parks located on the shores of the river. The shores of the calmer Arroyo Ñeembucú provide the city's residents with a beach to enjoy on hot December days.

The Town Council Museum was constructed in 1817, during the government of President Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. It is excellently preserved. This is the only build of this nature that is still preserved in the country. The museum contains objects of historical importance including photographs, trophies and medals that belonged to the Marshall López, as well as pieces of columns from the old church, weapons, bullets, ammunitions, chains, lances, shields and other historical artifacts.

A very popular tourist destination is also the "Fiesta Hawaiana" Party every January 2. In recent years, this party which is held alongside the Neembucu River has reached about 20.000 to 30.000 people coming from all parts of Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

Pilar is considered as one of the most safe and clean cities in all Paraguay.

Transportation[edit]

Pilar is served by Carlos Miguel Jiménez Airport, however traffic is limited to private airplanes.

Ferry traffic from the harbor of Pilar connects to Puerto Cano in Argentina. There is a paved highway -#4 National Highway, 140 km long- that starts at San Ignacio and leads to .

Until quite recently, there was no paved route to Asunción, and the city was nearly isolated during periods of rain. Today, however, there are daily buses to various other cities. The primary mode of transportation to other cities is by bus from the Central Terminal, which offers routes to Asunción and its suburbs such as Luque, Ñemby, and San Lorenzo, as well as Ciudad del Este, Villarica, Pedro Juan Caballero, Encarnación, Santa Rita, Concepción, and Villa Hayes.

Within the city, motorcycles and mopeds make up the bulk of traffic, with bicycles also constituting a significant percentage of traffic. In addition, it is quite possible to find people on horseback, in horse-drawn carts, on foot, and in cars or trucks on the same street.

Gallery[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]