Historic City of Sucre

Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an elevation of 2,810 meters (9,214 feet).

This relatively high altitude gives the city a cool temperate climate year-round.

In 1559, the Spanish King Philip II established the Audiencia de Charcas in La Plata with authority over an area which covers what is now Paraguay, southeastern Peru, Northern Chile and Argentina, and much of Bolivia.

The Audiencia de Charcas was a subdivision of the Viceroyalty of Peru until 1776, when it was transferred to the newly created Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.

In 1601 the Recoleta Monastery was founded by the Franciscans and in 1609 an archbishopric was founded in the city.

In 1624 St Francis Xavier University of Chuquisaca was founded. On May 25, 1809 the Bolivian independence movement was started with the ringing of the bell of the Basilica of Saint Francisco.

This bell was rung to the point of breakage, but it can still be found in the Basilica today: it is one of the most precious relics of the city. Until the 19th century, La Plata was the judicial, religious and cultural centre of the region.

It was proclaimed provisional capital of the newly independent Alto Peru (later, Bolivia) on July 1826.

On July 12, 1839, President José Miguel de Velasco proclaimed a law naming the city as the capital of Bolivia, and renaming it in honor of the revolutionary leader Antonio José de Sucre.

Sucre, after the economic decline of Potosí and its silver industry, saw the Bolivian seat of government move to La Paz in 1898.

Many argue Sucre was the location of the beginning of the Latin American independence movement against Spain.

The first “Grito Libertario” (Shout for Freedom) in any Western Hemisphere Spanish colony is said to have taken place in Sucre in 1809.

The government of the City of Sucre is divided into the executive and legislative branches.

The Mayor of Sucre is the head of the city government, elected for a term of five years by general election.

The legislative branch consists of the Municipal Council, which elects a President, Vice President and Secretary from a group of eleven members.

Sucre was founded in 1538 by the Spanish, and then named La Plata. It was later renamed after Antonio José de Sucre (Bolivar’s right-hand man).

It became a cultural center and the seat of the Supreme Court that reigned over large parts of South America.

The numerous towers and bell towers of the several religious institutions define an elegant skyline within this Andean landscape.

These buildings, which date to the beginning of the Spanish period (in the 16th century), combine with later monuments to create a rich repertoire of styles: “Mudéjar,” Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Metis, Neoclassical and Classical.

The facades, which are generally white, are decorated with brick corners; balconies, cast iron grillwork and wooden shutters, and the roofs are covered with tiles.

For much of its colonial history, Sucre’s temperate climate was preferred by the Spanish royalty and wealthy families involved in silver trade coming from Potosí.