La Paz, Bolivia: “La Paz” 1942 Office of Inter-American Affairs04:33

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“Tour of old and new in Bolivian capital.” A film by Julien Bryan.

Reupload of a previously uploaded film with improved video & sound.

Public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country (in population) after Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It is located in the western part of the country in the department of the same name at an elevation of roughly 3,650 m (11,975 ft) (the city is built on steep hills) above sea level, making it the world’s highest “de facto” capital city, or administrative capital.

While the official capital of Bolivia is Sucre and it is the seat of Justice, La Paz has more government departments, hence the “de facto” qualifier. The city sits in a “bowl” surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano.

As it grows, the city of La Paz climbs the hills, resulting in varying elevations from 3,000 meters to 4,100 meters (9,840 ft to 13,450 ft). Overlooking the city is towering triple-peaked Illimani, which is always snow-covered and can be seen from several spots of the city, including from the neighbor city of El Alto. As of the 2001 census, the city had a population of 877,363. 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.

History

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.

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. 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)…

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