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Cheap flights to Paris from Arequipa
Arequipa is the capital and largest city of the Arequipa Region and the seat of the Constitutional Court of Peru. It is Peru’s second most populous city with 861,145 inhabitants, as well as its second most populous metropolitan area as of 2016, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI)
Arequipa is the second most industrialized and commercialized city in Peru. Its industrial activity includes manufactured goods and camelid wool products for export. The city has close trade ties with Chile, Bolivia and Brazil.
The city was founded on 15 August 1540, by Garcí Manuel de Carbajal as “Villa Hermosa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción”. During the Colonial period, Arequipa became highly important for its economic prosperity and for its loyalty to the Spanish Crown.
After Peru gained its independence from Spain in 1821, Arequipa acquired greater political significance, and was declared the capital city of Peru from 1835 to 1883.
The historic center of Arequipa spans an area of 332 hectares and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its historic heritage, natural scenery and cultural sites make the city a major tourist destination. Its religious, colonial, and republican architectural styles blend European and native characteristics into a unique style called “Escuela Arequipeña”.
A local tradition states that Inca Mayta Capac received a petition from his subjects to reach the valley of the River Chili. They asked him for permission to stay in the region as they were impressed by the beauty of the landscape and the mild climate. The Inca answered “Ari qhipay” (Quechua: “Yes, stay”). However, another similar tale states that when the first Europeans arrived to the valley, they pointed at the ground and asked for the name of the land. the local chief, not understanding the question, assumed they were asking for a permission to sit down and gave a positive answer, which sounded like “Arequipa”.
Chroniclers Blas Valera and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega suggested that the name of the city came from an ancient Aymara phrase, “ari qquepan”, supposedly meaning “trumpet sound”, in reference to the sound produced from blowing into an empty conch-like seashell.
Another possible origin of the city’s name comes from the Aymara language phrase “qhipaya ari” or “Ari qipa” (from ‘ari’: acute, sharp or pointed; and ‘qhipaya’: behind), which translates to “behind the peak,” referring to the nearby volcano, Misti.
The early inhabitants of the Arequipa City area were nomadic people who relied on activities such as hunting, fishing and gathering for survival. Later, pre-Inca cultures domesticated llamas and became sedentary with the development of agriculture. During this time, major irrigation channels were built within the valley of the Chili river, which allowed the development of agriculture by means of terraces built on both sides of the valley. The Yarabaya and Chimbe tribes settled in the city’s current location, and together with the Cabana and Collagua tribes they developed an agrarian economy in the valley.
When the Inca Mayta Capac arrived in the valley of the Chili river, he didn’t build cities; instead, he gave orders to his mitimae (settlers from lands within the Inca empire) to settle in the valley to gain control of the existing population, perform intelligence tasks and strengthen border enclaves as a way to control the unconquered villages. A Hispanic version of the events, detailed by chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, which has been described as historically inaccurate, suggests that around 1170 Huayna Capac stopped with his army in the valley of the Chili River, which he called Ari qepay – an expression meaning “let’s stay here”. Lands were then distributed among three thousand families who founded the towns of Yanahuara, Cayma, Tiabaya, Socabaya, Characato and others, towns that still exist nowadays.
The Spanish foundation of Arequipa was performed on 15 August 1540 by Garci Manuel de Carbajal in the valley of the Chili river as “Villa de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora del Valle Hermoso de Arequipa” in an area occupied by some Native American villages. At the time of its foundation, Arequipa had already a city council, because the foundation of the town occurred in part as a relocation of Villa Hermosa de Camana, a coastal city. The name was partially conserved as Villa Hermosa de Arequipa. Charles V of Germany and I of Spain gave the town a status of ‘city’ by Royal Decree on 22 September 1541. The relocation efforts were led by Garci Manuel de Carbajal, who was selected as the political authority for the foundation of the new town. Among the first public works carried out in the city are the Main Church, the City Hall, the bridge on the Chili River and the monastery of Nuestra Señora de Gracia.
Since its Spanish founding and over three centuries, the population of the city was mostly of Spanish origin, which represented a strong following of Spain. One aspect that distinguished Arequipa from the rest of the country was the particularly explicit and public commitment of the city to the Spanish Crown, a phenomenon called fidelismo. Among its most remarkable defenders were Francisco de Paula Quiroz, Mariano de Rivero, Nicolás Fernández, and José Miguel de Lastarria. As a result, the Spanish Monarchy gave the city the title of Faithful by Royal Charter in 1805. Also, because of its distance from other Peruvian cities, Arequipa was not heavily influenced by libertarian movements Although those libertarian movements (like the one commanded by Pumacahua) and pro-independence military troops entered Arequipa, the city remained under Spaniard control until the Battle of Ayacucho (1824), due to struggles for local political power.
Its privileged location at the crossroads of the trade route of silver during colonial times and, after independence, the wool trade route, allowed Arequipa to accumulate administrative, commercial and industrial power. Moreover, from the early 1820s until the end of that decade, society in Arequipa, as well as in the rest of Peru, was in a transitional period right after its independence from Spain. Thus, Arequipa not only became the birthplace of significant political figures in Peru, but also the scene of several important political movements that achieved national prominence which played a role in the defense of the legal and economic stability of the city; thus establishing the importance of Arequipa as the country’s second city, and in frequent rivalry with Lima.
In 1835, president General Orbegoso moved his government from Lima to Arequipa by presidential decree on 13 January 1835. Meanwhile, in Lima, General Felipe Santiago Salaverry named himself Supreme Chief of the Republic, arguing that the country was leaderless, as Orbegoso was outside the capital. Orbegoso then sought support from then Bolivian President Andrés de Santa Cruz against the claims of Salaverry. Battles were held in Uchumayo, near the city of Arequipa, on 4 February 1836 where Salaverry won a victory, and Socabaya, three days later, where Santa Cruz defeated the Army of reunification under Salaverry, who gave up his sword under terms of surrender However, on 18 February 1836, Salaverry and his 9 officers were shot in the main square of the city.
After expressing their rejection of the Peru–Bolivian Confederation, the Chilean government sent a military expedition that reached Arequipa on 12 October 1837. To avoid a battle, negotiations allowed the signing of a peace treaty in Paucarpata, a small town near Arequipa on 17 November 1837. In the following years the city was the scene of uprisings and successive military coups, which ended in the victory of the forces commanded by Miguel de San Román against the army of Manuel Ignacio de Vivanco in the battle of Paucarpata on 29 June 1857. It was around this time that Arequipa gained prominence as a center of business and trade, focused in agricultural products and the production of wool, sometimes by means of exploitation of peasants.
After the occupation of Lima during the War of the Pacific, President Lizardo Montero arrived in Arequipa on 31 August 1882, declaring it the capital of Peru. Also, Montero installed a National Congress on 22 April 1883 which was located at the Independence College, also counting with military support from a local army and important financial support from quotas and taxes coming from the economic elite and the southern agricultural districts. However, on 25 October 1883, a popular uprising overthrew the government of president Montero, who managed to escape to La Paz; then, Chilean troops occupied Arequipa on 29 October, supported by authorities of the city, until August 1884.
The republican era brought many improvements to the city’s infrastructure. The economic development of Arequipa was boosted by the Southern Railroad built by Henry Meiggs, which connected Arequipa with the port city of Mollendo (1871) and with Cuzco and Juliaca (1876). The first telegraph system in the region of Arequipa, which connected Mollendo, Arequipa and Vitor, was established in 1908. The first drinking water supply system for the city and an aqueduct were built in 1914. In 1940 the city’s international airport, Alfredo Rodriguez Ballon, was opened.
In 2000, the historic centre of Arequipa was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. However, an 8.4-magnitude earthquake, on 23 June 2001, damaged several of the historical buildings.
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