San Rafael, Mendoza

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San Rafael
City
San Rafael
San Rafael
San Rafael is located in Argentina
San Rafael
San Rafael
Location of San Rafael in Argentina
Coordinates: 34°36′S 68°20′W / 34.600°S 68.333°W / -34.600; -68.333Coordinates: 34°36′S 68°20′W / 34.600°S 68.333°W / -34.600; -68.333
Country  Argentina
Province Mendoza
Department San Rafael
Founded April 2, 1805
Government
 • Mayor Emir Roberto Felix
Elevation 750 m (2,460 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 118,950
Demonym sanrafaelino
Time zone ART (UTC-3)
CPA base M5600
Dialing code +54 2627
Website Official website
San Rafael's Downtown

San Rafael is a city in the southern region of the Mendoza Province, Argentina. With more than 170,000 inhabitants (2001 census [INDEC]), it is the largest city and the seat of San Rafael Department.

The city is located 240 km from the provincial capital and 990 km from the federal capital. Natural attractions in the area include the Diamante River, which flows through the city, the rapids-strewn Atuel River just south and Lake Los Reyunos, 20 km (12 mi) west of San Rafael.

History[edit]

Spanish expeditions led by Francisco de Villagra from what today is Chile first surveyed the area in 1551 and, finding a well-established agricultural Coquimbo and Diaguita cultures, they rapidly subdued the existing peoples and expropriated the land. Displaced Pehuenches revolted, however, and repeated attacks led to an 1804 treaty signed by Viceroy Rafael de Sobremonte whereby the Pehuenches ceded land to colonial authorities. The construction of Fort San Rafael del Diamante and its 2 April 1805 completion marked the formal establishment of San Rafael.

Remains of the Fort of San Rafael

San Rafael remained relatively isolated from the rest of the country, long after independence in 1816. The area's agricultural potential and strategic location were eventually brought to the federal government's attention. In 1871, civil engineer Julio Balloffet was commissioned to oversee the development of San Rafael. His efforts were centered around needed public works, among which were civic buildings, schools, plazas, a hospital, cathedral and irrigation works. The irrigation canals were accompanied by an agricultural laboratory and a panel of agronomists and, by 1900, the San Rafael area fruit orchards had attracted a sizable contingent of Italian and French immigrants.

This sudden prosperity led to San Rafael's formal designation as department seat in 1903 and, that November, the expanding railways reach the city. The railways led to the local development of food processing industries, as well as to the town's designation as a "city" in 1922. The torrential Atuel and Diamante Rivers facilitated the construction of a number of important hydroelectric dams in the area, bringing further prominence to San Rafael as an economic and tourist hub within southern Mendoza Province. The first, the Nihuiles Hydroelectric Dam, was inaugurated in 1953 on the Atuel River. The facility, which generates around 1000 MWh annually (today nearly 1% of the entire nation's),[1] also resulted in the creation of a 9000 hectare (35 mi2) reservoir, bringing with it growing recreational tourism into the area. A similarly important work, Los Reyunos Dam, was built on the Diamante River, south of San Rafael. Inaugurated in 1984, the reservoir has also proven popular among somos los mejores sin dudas[2] The city, since 1968, has also hosted auto racing competitions at its La Paredes Autodrome, including numerous ones for Argentina's prestigious TC 2000 touring car racing competitions.

San Rafael's Cathedral
Atuel's River on Valle Grande
Plaza San Martin

Distances in kilometers to other parts of the country[edit]

Capital Federal 990 km

Cordoba (Capital) 705 km

Neuquén (Capital) 605 km

Mar del Plata (Bs. As.) 1205 km

Mendoza (Capital) 236 km

Rosario (Sta Fe) 860 km

San Luis (Capital) 273 km

Tucumán (Capital) 1290 km

Bariloche (Rio Negro) 1060 km

Climate[edit]

Climate data for San Rafael, Mendoza
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30.6
(87.1)
29.9
(85.8)
26.5
(79.7)
22.5
(72.5)
18.6
(65.5)
15.5
(59.9)
14.9
(58.8)
17.4
(63.3)
19.2
(66.6)
24.0
(75.2)
27.4
(81.3)
30.1
(86.2)
23.05
(73.49)
Daily mean °C (°F) 23.1
(73.6)
22.3
(72.1)
19.0
(66.2)
14.8
(58.6)
10.5
(50.9)
7.6
(45.7)
7.0
(44.6)
9.2
(48.6)
11.4
(52.5)
16.4
(61.5)
19.7
(67.5)
22.6
(72.7)
15.3
(59.54)
Average low °C (°F) 15.3
(59.5)
14.7
(58.5)
12.3
(54.1)
8.8
(47.8)
4.5
(40.1)
2.0
(35.6)
1.2
(34.2)
2.6
(36.7)
4.6
(40.3)
8.4
(47.1)
11.3
(52.3)
14.2
(57.6)
8.33
(46.98)
Precipitation mm (inches) 67.4
(2.654)
37.9
(1.492)
30.4
(1.197)
24.1
(0.949)
15.1
(0.594)
11.6
(0.457)
16.6
(0.654)
18.7
(0.736)
34.0
(1.339)
22.6
(0.89)
50.8
(2)
48.5
(1.909)
377.7
(14.871)
Avg. precipitation days 8 6 5 3 2 4 3 3 5 4 6 7 56
 % humidity 58 58 65 68 66 68 67 61 60 54 54 55 61.2
Source: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ www.pampaenergia.com Pampa Energía
  2. ^ "Inaugurada" www.losandes.com.ar Los Andes
  3. ^ "Datos Estadísticos (Período 1981-1990)" (in Spanish). National Meteorological Service of Argentina. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 

External links[edit]