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For other uses, see Callao (disambiguation).
El Callao
Missing image
Coat of arms of Callao, Peru

City coat of arms
City motto: "Chim Pum Callao"
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Location of Callao in Peru

Districts 6
Mayor Rogelio Canches
Area 146.98 km˛
 - Total
 - Density

787 154 (2002 estimate)
5 355.5/km˛
Time zone UTC-5
Template:Coor dms
Official website:

The Callao (in Spanish: El Callao) is the largest and most important port in Peru. The city is located in the Constitutional Province of Callao, which is the only province of the Callao Region. It is located west of Lima, the country's capital, with which it forms a conurbation that concentrates almost one-third of Peru's population, the Lima and Callao Metropolitan Area.

Callao was founded in 1537, just two years after Lima (1535), and soon became the main port for Spanish commerce in the Pacific. At the height of the Viceroyalty, virtually all goods produced in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina were carried over the Andes by mule to Callao, to be shipped to Panama, carried overland, and then transported on to Spain via Cuba.

In 1746, a tsunami caused by an earthquake destroyed the entire port.

On 2 May 1866, during the Battle of Callao, the Spanish fleet tried to reconquer independent Peru.

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The port of Callao.

The city is divided into six districts, and although it is contiguous with metropolitan Lima, it is part of a separate region, the Callao Region. Callao is built on and around a peninsula, the district of La Punta, once a wealthy residential neighborhood. An historical fortress, the Castillo de Real Felipe, stands on the promontory overlooking the harbor.

There is also a large naval base in Callao, in which the leader of the Shining Path rebel movement, Abimael Guzmán, and Vladimiro Montesinos, the ex-director of internal security during the Fujimori regime are currently imprisoned.

Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport is located in Callao.

On a bluff overlooking the harbor sits Colegio Militar Leoncio Prado, the military high school Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa attended and made famous in his first novel, La Ciudad y los Perros (1962) (published in English as The Time of the Hero in 1963). The book was later filmed as The City and the Dogs and featured exterior shots of the school. The city also has a university, the National University of Callao.

Callao also several islands, San Lorenzo (currently a military base), El Frontón (a former high security prison), the Cavinzas, and the Palominos, where a large number of sea lions and sea birds live in a virtually untouched ecosystem.

External links

de:Callao es:El Callao


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