From Academic Kids

Arequipa is a city in southern Peru and the nation's second-largest city. It is also the capital of the Arequipa Region and the Arequipa Province. The city stands at the foot of the snow-capped volcano El Misti, in the highlands. Arequipa has many fine colonial-era Spanish buildings built of sillar, a pearly white volcanic rock used extensively in the construction of the city, from which it gets its nickname La Ciudad Blanca ("the white city"). The city is located at an altitude of 2,380 meters (7740 feet) above sea level, in the Peruvian Andes.

Ciudad de Arequipa
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Coat of arms of Arequipa, Peru

City coat of arms
City nickname: "La Ciudad Blanca"
("The White City")
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Location of Arequipa in Peru

Mayor Yamel P. Romero
 - Total

762 000
Time zone UTC-5
Height 2380 m (7740 ft)
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Official website:
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Archaeological findings indicate the fertile valley in which Arequipa is situated has been occupied back to 5000 – 6000 BCE. In the 15th century, the region, then occupied by Aymara Indians, was conquered by the Inca and served as an important supplier of agrarian products to the Inca Empire. The modern city of Arequipa was founded on 15 August, 1540, by Garcí Manuel de Carbajal, an emissary of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. One year later, King Charles V of Spain gave it the rank of 'city' and the coat of arms that it still keeps. The city's name comes from the Quechua phrase "Ari, quepay" which means "Yes, stay". The arrival of Spanish influence left many relics and colonial architecture, which reminds the visitor of the city's colonial past, when it was the city with the highest proportion of Spanish population in the whole Viceroyalty of Peru. This led Arequipa to develop a large Peruvian Mestizo population as its demographics changed and grew over the centuries. Since the late 1940's, however, there has been increasing immigration from the Peruvian sierra, thus changing the demographic character of some parts of the city.

Throughout history Arequipa remained relatively isolated during colonial and early republican times, but that changed in 1870 when a Southern railroad to the coastal port of Tacna was inaugurated, opening trade via the Pacific Ocean. The building and expansion of more roads in the 1930s also led to a direct connection with the Pan-American Highway, strengthening Arequipa's links to the rest of the Americas. Since then, the city has remained the center of commerce between Lima and all of Southern Peru.

Arequipa served as a bastion of nationalism during Peru's struggle for independence from Spain in the early 19th century. Later, it served as a rallying point during the War of the Pacific (1879 – 1883) with Chile.

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Arequipa's Plaza de Armas colonial Arcs

The city has two principal universities — the Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa, the local state university (founded 1828), and the Universidad Católica de Santa María (founded in 1961), a private institution.

One of Peru's largest stadiums, Estadio Monumental de la UNSA, is also located in Arequipa and hosted some of the 2004 Copa América soccer games, attracting many tourists as well as locals.

As the second largest city in Peru, Arequipa is influenced by both Andalusian and Spanish Colonial ideas and architecture, such as the popular Santa Catalina Monastery, the Goyeneche Palace and the Casa del Moral. Arequipa has many valuable archaeological and touristy resources including the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the world and an ideal spot for observing the magnificent Andean Condor.

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16th century architecture built by the Jesuit order

In December 2000, UNESCO declared the historical center of Arequipa a World Heritage Site, stating the following: "The historical center of Arequipa is an example of ornamented architecture, represents a masterpiece of the creative coalition of European and native characteristics. A colonial town challenged by the conditions of nature, the indigenous influences, the conquest process and evangelism as well as for a spectacular natural scenario."

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Casa Ricketts (1738)

Recent Events

On 23 June, 2001, Arequipa was badly damaged by an earthquake of 7.9 on the Richter scale

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Arcs made of "Sillar" in the Mirador of Yanahuara, Arequipa

In June 2002, Arequipa was completely paralyzed for a week by strikes and riots in protest of the privatization of two regional electricity-generating plants.

Famous Arequipeños

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El Misti volcano towers almost 20,000 feet above the city of Arequipa

See also

External links


es:Arequipa ja:アレキパ pl:Arequipa pt:Arequipa fi:Arequipa


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