Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The City of Huancavelica

We work with two member districts, one centered in Tarma (where we live) and one centered in Huancavelica. If you follow this blog, you already know lots about Tarma. Now we'll describe Huancavelica.

Huancavelica has a population of about 50,000 people and an elevation of 12,100 feet above sea level. It sits nestled at the bottom of a valley surrounded by steep mountains.

This is the one and only modern hotel in the city. We've now stayed here twice and our room has been freezing both times:

The hotel is located in the main square (the Plaza de Armas) next to this cathedral, built in 1673:

Huancavelica has several other Catholic churches, including this building:

A second major plaza is located on the west side of town. It includes this Catholic church, La Iglesia de Santo Domingo:

This church is in the same plaza as La Iglesia de Santo Domingo:

The town has a large open-air market, as do all the large towns of the Andes:

The Monday (April 26) that we were there, the city was holding a potato festival. Here is a table displaying 76 of the over 1500 varieties of potatoes grown in Peru:

As with most mountain cities, you can see late model cars at the same time you see women dressed the same as they have for a hundred years or more:

The river Ichu passes through the city of Huancavelica:

On a mountain side north of town are the famous San Cristóbal Mineral Springs, where people come from all over the world to enjoy its supposedly curative properties. The only people Scott saw at the springs were women washing their clothing in the lukewarm water that spilled from the pools:

In this view of the city from the mineral springs, you can see the main cathedral and the hotel at the base of the mountain:

Huancavelica was an Inca strategic center. The Spaniards found mercury and silver in the nearby mountains and founded the current city in 1571. Even today, the city maintains a pleasant colonial atmosphere and has several active mines nearby.

1 comment:

Russ said...

Huancavelica has some beautiful architecture. Thanks for posting those pictures.