Laid Back Sucre Bolivia

Ask most people to name the capital of Bolivia and chances are they would say it is La Paz – which is one of Bolivia’s two capitals. The other capital of Bolivia, however, is Sucre as it is that country’s constitutional capital, and has earned that title because it was where followers of the Liberator Simon Bolivar began their quest to wrest independence from the Spanish.

The name Sucre was bestowed on the city in relatively recent times. It is also called the “city of four names” because it is also called the Ciudad Blanca, or White City in English, Charcas was the original indigenous name given to the region before the Spanish built their city, which was originally called Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo, or the Silver City of New Toledo, which was shortened to La Plata, possibly because it fitted better on an envelope.

Sucre was first established in 1538 to service the area’s silver mines. Located at an altitude of 2750m (9,000 ft) the climate is quite cool, but otherwise quite benign, and the city has a very laid back feel to it. The Bolivian independence movement began here in 1809, when the region was part of Peru, and the name Sucre was bestowed on the city in 1824 to honour one of the liberation heroes.

It is a magnificent city, full of historical buildings, many of which are very grand. Sucre was designed to mimic the typical structures of cities in Andalusia, Spain which consists of narrow streets that are built in a grid. At the centre of the city is the main square, called Plaza 25 de Mayo, which is a good focal point for any wanderings. In fact, Sucre is quite a small city, and given its neat design, is a reasonably hard place in which to get lost. There is adequate public transport in the city, but it is just as easy to get around on foot, particularly as it gives you a chance to admire the architecture.

There are several places of historic significance situated around the main plaza, one of which is Casa de la Libertad, the building in which the Declaration of Liberation of Bolivia was signed in 1825. The Franciscan Order established itself in the city in the first few years of its inception and at the Museo de la Recoleta which served as a convent, barracks, and prison there is also a good museum.

There are plenty of other museums and art galleries in the city; as well as good accommodation and plenty of great places to eat. Many people travel to Sucre to learn Spanish and there are many language schools here which cater to foreigners and their presence helps to give the city a very cosmopolitan feel.

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