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(From top to bottom; from left to right) View of the city from top of San Bernardo Hill; Colonial Cabildo; Cathedral of Salta; Ninth of July Plaza and the Victoria Theatre.
|• Mayor||Miguel Angel Isa|
|Elevation||1,152 m (3,780 ft)|
|Time zone||ART (UTC−3)|
|Dialing code||+54 387|
Salta is a city located in the Lerma Valley, at 1,152 metres (3780 feet) above sea level in the north west part of Argentina and it is also the name for the capital city of the Salta Province. Along with its metropolitan area, it has a population of 619,000 inhabitants, which makes it the second most populated city in the northwest of the country.
The weather is warm and dry, with annual averages of 756 mm of rainfall and an average temperature of 16.4 °C (20.4 °C in summer, 10.8 °C in winter). January and February are the months with greatest rainfall. During the spring, Salta is occasionally plagued by severe, week-long dust storms.
Nicknamed Salta la Linda ("Salta the beautiful"), it has become a major tourist destination due to its old, colonial architecture, tourism friendliness, awesome weather and the natural scenery of the valleys westward. Attractions in the city proper include the 18th century Cabildo, the neo-classical style Cathedral, and the 9 de julio central square along with San Bernardo hill, and its surroundings. The city's museums exhibit a wide range of artifacts and art work from the native civilizations that flourished in the area (Salta is located in the southernmost region of what was the Inca empire, belonging to the Collasuyu, one of the four areas the empire was divided until the Spanish conquest), as well as from the 16th century Spanish conquest and the colonial and post-colonial periods. Salta is also the starting point of the "Train to the Clouds" (Tren a las nubes), and on the way to red-soiled Cafayate, as well as to other nearby tourist destinations.
During the war of independence, the city became a commercial and military strategic point between Perú and the Argentine cities. Between 1816 and 1821, the city was led by local military leader General Martín Miguel de Güemes, who under the command of General José de San Martín, defended the city and surrounding area from Spanish forces coming from further north.
Salta emerged from the War of Independence politically in disarray and financially bankrupt, a condition that lingered throughout much of the 19th century. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the arrival of Italian, Spanish and Arab immigrants, particularly Syrians and Lebanese, revived trade and agriculture all over the area while further enhancing the city's multicultural flavor.
Salta has a subtropical highland climate (Cwb, according to the Köppen climate classification), and it is famous in Argentina for having very pleasant weather. Located in the subtropical north, but at an altitude of 1,200 metres, Salta enjoys 4 distinct seasons: summers are warm with frequent thunderstorms, with daytime highs around 26 to 28 °C (78.8 to 82.4 °F) and pleasant, refreshing nights around 15 or 16 °C (59 or 61 °F). Fall brings dry weather, pleasant days at around 22 °C (71.6 °F) and cool nights at around 10 °C (50.0 °F). By winter, the dryness is extreme, with very few rain episodes. Nights are quite cold at 3 °C (37.4 °F) on average, but daytime heating allows for high temperatures of 19 °C (66.2 °F). Snow is rare but not unprecedented, and frost is quite common, with temperatures reaching down to −7 °C (19.4 °F) during the coldest nights. Spring brings sunny weather with warm days and cool nights: days range from 25 to 28 °C (77.0 to 82.4 °F) with nights between 10 to 14 °C (50.0 to 57.2 °F).
Of the over 700 millimetres (28 in) of rain that Salta receives yearly, over 80% falls between December and March, when thunderstorms occur almost daily. During the rest of the year, blue skies dominate the region. Seemingly incessant summer thunderstorms greatly rejuvenate the surrounding mountainous landscape, making the various hills and mountainsides within the vicinity of the city green and lush once again. Salta receives 1863 hours of sunshine each year or about 5.1 hours per day.
|Climate data for Salta, Argentina|
|Record high °C (°F)||35.6
|Average high °C (°F)||27.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||21.2
|Average low °C (°F)||16.1
|Record low °C (°F)||8.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||182.0
|Avg. precipitation days||17||16||15||10||4||2||3||3||4||6||11||16||107|
|Average relative humidity (%)||78||82||84||84||81||76||70||63||60||61||67||73||73|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||164.3||134.4||105.4||117.0||136.4||156.2||173.6||195.3||162.0||182.9||171.0||164.3||1,862.8|
|Source #1: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional|
|Source #2: NOAA|
The city centre features a number of impressive buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th and early 20th centuries. Clockwise around the Ninth of July Square are the neoclassical Cathedral Shrine, the French style Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cabildo (in former times, the city's town hall, nowadays a historical museum) and the neoclassical Museum of High Mountain Archeology, which houses artifacts from the Inca civilization, including the magnifically preserved mummies of three Inca children. The Plaza is almost completely surrounded by a gallery, and its beauty inspired a Chivas Regal TV ad, aired in 2004.
Within walking distance of the 9th July Square are the impressive Saint Francis Church and the city's three pedestrian streets: Alberdi, Florida and "Caseros". The three blocks in Balcarce street closest to the train station are now the centre of night life in Salta, with restaurants, pubs and cafés on both sidewalks and concerts every night.
Rising imposingly in the east is San Bernardo Hill. Its summit, from which visitors can get an awe-inspiring view of the city and the entire valley, can be reached by car, cable car or stairway.
Culture and arts
Salta is probably the most Spanish city in Argentina by physical appearance: so much so that tourists visiting from Spain often find a strong resemblance between Salta and Andalucian cities. The local culture, however, is a blend of Spanish and gaucho (mestizo, criollo, both indigenous and non indigenous) traditions, lending the city a distinctive identity, somewhat different from the more Europeanlike metropolises to the south.
The city boasts three theatres, several museums (one of which exhibits the perfectly preserved bodies of c.500 year old inca children sacrificed in the Andes to Inca gods), and a busy calendar of art exhibitions, shows, music festivals, and other cultural events.
One of the main activities in Salta is the April Culture Festival, which lasts the entire month and offers a wide variety of activities such as cultural performances, a handcraft exposition, and live orchestral performances.
Salta residents, like most Argentines, are very enthusiastic about soccer. The most important local clubs are Juventud Antoniana, Gimnasia y Tiro de Salta, and Central Norte; many faithful fans follow each. Juventud Antoniana, Gimnasia y Tiro and Central Norte currently play in the third national division.
Other locally popular sports include baseball (a game in which Salta players excel nationally), basketball, volleyball, rugby, and mountaineering.
The main sporting venue in Salta is the Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium; the Gimnasia y Tiro and Juventud Antoniana stadiums also see many athletic matches. The largest roofed facility in the city is the Ciudad de Salta Stadium, chiefly used for basketball, volleyball, and boxing.
Over the last twenty years, Salta has played host to such high-profile international sporting events as the 1990 Basketball World Cup, the 1994 Camel Trophy, the 2002 Volleyball World Cup, and the 2009 Hockey Champions Challenge. The Argentina national rugby union team, the "Pumas", have played in Salta against Italy (2005) and England (2009), (2013). Top football clubs, including Boca Juniors, River Plate and Racing, have played friendly games in Salta in summer, off-season matches.
Politics of Salta
- Mariano Boedo, statesman
- Jorge Horacio Brito, banker, businessman
- Los Chalchaleros, folk music band
- Los Nocheros, folk music band
- Juan Figallo, rugby player
- Martín Miguel de Güemes, general
- Carlos Ibarguren, academic, politician
- César Isella, folk singer
- David Kavlin, TV host
- Luciano Leccese, footballer
- Dino Saluzzi, bandoneonist, composer
- Daniel Tinte, pianist, composer
- Lucrecia Martel, film director
- José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, former economy minister
- Robustiano Patrón Costas, infamous sugar tycoon
- Luciana Pedraza, actress
- Victorino de la Plaza, politician, president of Argentina
- Luís Sillero, footballer
- José Evaristo Uriburu, president of Argentina
- José Félix Uriburu, de facto president of Argentina
- José Valdiviezo, footballer
- Christian Rodrigo Zurita, footballer
- The film Taras Bulba, starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis, was largely shot in the hills west of the city, near San Lorenzo.
- Actor John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard and Smallville) was part of the cast of Cocaine Wars, another film shot in Salta.
- Two Hollywood celebrities have married Salta-born women: Matt Damon (to Luciana Bozán Barroso), and Robert Duvall (to Luciana Pedraza).
- "Datos Climáticos de Argentina: Annuales" (in Spanish). Retrieved April 12, 2013.
- "Datos Estadisticos (Periodo 1981-1990)" (in Spanish). National Meteorological Service of Argentina. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Salta Aero Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "Chivas Regal ad filmed in Salta's city center". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
- "Mummified Inca maiden wows crowds". BBC News. 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
- Argentina v Italy scorecard at Scrum.com
- national teams.Argentine rugby fans deserve annual Test, by Brendan Gallagher for The Telegraph
- "England too strong for Argentina". Espn.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
- "CCA: When the pueblo was Hollywwod". Cca.edu. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
- U.S.-Argentine Co-productions, 1982-1990, by Tamara L. Falicov (University of Kansas), Page 7, Footnote 18
- juliana (2006-07-12). "Robert Duvall's House of Jasmines". Hotelchatter.com. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Salta.|
|Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article about Salta.|
- Municipality of Salta — Official website.
- Government of Salta Province — Official website.
- City history at the Chamber of Deputies website.
- Salta Province Tourism Office