According to internetsailors, the former Bolivian capital lies at an altitude of 2800 m and is considered the most beautiful city in Bolivia due to the combination of European and local architecture. The cathedral, the monastery church of San Francisco and the church of La Merced are particularly worth seeing.

Sucre Old Town: Facts

Official title: Old town of Sucre
Cultural monument: colonial jewel and “cradle of freedom”, among others. with those from the 16./17. Churches of San Lazaro, San Francisco, San Miguel and Santo Domingo, the cathedral with Renaissance and Baroque elements, the Casa de la Libertad with Aula Magna and the Universidad de San Francisco Xavier
Continent: America
Country: Bolivia, Chuquisaca
Location: Sucre, southeast of La Paz
Appointment: 1991
Meaning: the former Bolivian capital as a testimony to the connection between European and local architecture and a symbol of the South American independence movement

Old town of Sucre: history

29.09.1538 Foundation of the village of Villa de la Plata, the later Ciudad de la Plata de Nuevo Toledo, on the site of the capital of the Indian Charcas
around 1550-1712 Construction of the cathedral
1552 Bishopric
1558 Construction of the La Merced Church
1559 Seat of the Audiencia de Charcas, the highest royal court in the Spanish colonies
1601 Founding of the Convento La Recoleta
1609 Archbishopric
1624 Foundation of the University of San Francisco Xavier
1665 Foundation of the Carmelite Monastery of Santa Teresa
1776 Loss of importance due to the appointment of Buenos Aires to the capital of the viceroyalty of La Plata
1809 Dissolution of the San Francisco Monastery
05/25/1809 Call for independence in the Casa de la Libertad
02/09/1825 Declaration of independence by General Antonio José de Sucre, establishment of the Republic of Bolivia
08/11/1825 Renaming of Villa de la Plata to Sucre
1828 Assassination of President Pedro Blanco in the Convento La Recoleta
since 1828 nominal capital of Bolivia
1898 The Bolivian government moves to La Paz
1965 Convento La Recoleta declared a national monument

The revolutionary double

He was Simón Bolívar’s favorite combatant, the man who gave Sucre its final name: Antonio José de Sucre, who defeated the hated colonial power of Spain in 1824 on the battlefield of Ayacucho, which made history. The celebrated hero of Ayacucho came from Venezuela like Bolívar, but the so hard-fought independence was not immortalized in the Caribbean, but in Bolivia. The fame of the two shone in the heart of the South American subcontinent, where the first anti-colonial upheavals had taken place and the last region to achieve actual independence in 1825. Antonio José de Sucre succeeded Simón Bolívar on the presidential chair of Bolivia.

The city of Sucre, however, existed long before Sucre took control of Bolivia. The Charcas had founded the later institutional capital of the country as “Chuquisaca”, and for the Spaniards it was the “Villa de la Plata”, the “Silver City”. Silver was the Sumaj Orko, whom they called Cerro Rico, because the silver oozed so abundantly inside it that chroniclers claimed that it was enough to build a bridge between Bolivia and Spain. For the Indian workers, the mountain was more of a curse – eight million died in the unprotected tunnels of the Silver Mountain – while for the Spanish kingdom it was the source of all the wealth with which it was able to consolidate its supremacy on the European continent.

The wealth of silver also fell on Sucre: Magnificent colonial buildings and churches adorned the streets of the “ciudad blanca”, the “white city”, and quickly made it the most beautiful in the country. In Potosí, the mining town at the foot of Cerro Rico, the gloomy splendor of power unfolded; The Spaniards wanted to live and celebrate in cheerful Sucre, undisturbed by the misery processions of the drunk and drug-drugged Indian work slaves, who every day sought to be forgotten in the collective intoxication. The Spaniards gifted the city with flower-filled patios and Baroque fountains, with red brick roofs, whitewashed walls that reflected the sunlight, and ornate, wrought-iron balconies. The streets were paved early on and the expansive Plaza 25 de Mayo in the center of the city were surrounded by dignified stone houses with arcaded arches such as the Casa de la Libertad, in which the proclamation of independence “el grito de la libertad” rang out and decades later independence was proclaimed. The cathedral clearly manifested the Catholic Church’s intention to demonstrate religious sovereignty; it must have left a more than lasting impression for the conditions at that time, when the Indian population only had simple dwellings. It is imposing even by today’s standards, and the silhouette with the sculptures of the twelve apostles and the four evangelists is unmistakable. Very early on, in 1624, Sucre also established itself as a refuge for imparting knowledge.

In its side streets, Sucre glides quickly over into the countryside, and one quickly encounters a different reality, when one is faced with the market women wrapped in their woolen ponchos. The attractive, cheerful Sucre – so young, so full of student life – is surrounded by a high plateau, a purely agricultural region that can only be used to a modest extent and which poses strict challenges for its residents. The city’s surroundings are not rich, even if they exude an air of luxurious serenity and comfort. The market women in their circular, black wool skirts and the felt bowlers on their heads are symbols of rural and poor Bolivia with its seemingly endless fields of potatoes and quinoa.

Old Town of Sucre (World Heritage)

Old Town of Sucre (World Heritage)
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