La Paz

La Paz ( Nuestra Señora de La Paz, Aymara: Chuquiyapu Marka or Chuquiago ) is the seat of government of Bolivia ( Capital: Sucre). With a height of 3200-4100 m, the city is the highest seat of government of the earth.

The full name of the city was first Nuestra Señora de La Paz ( " Our Lady of Peace" ) because of a revolt prevented the indigenous natives; it acquired its current name in 1825 to commemorate the victorious battle of Ayacucho in the war of independence against the Spanish. La Paz is also the capital of the department of La Paz

  • 4.1 Structures
  • 4.2 Museums
  • 4.3 Attractions near La Paz
  • 5.1 theater
  • 5.2 Media
  • 5.3 Formation
  • 5.4 Measuring
  • 6.1 Highway
  • 6.2 transport


Location in near space

The city is located in the district ( bolivian: Municipio) La Paz at about 3600 m in the 400 -meter-deep canyon of the Río Chokeyapu, which is cut into the surrounding plateau of the Altiplano and widens into a valley with a protected and pleasant climate.

On the plateau west of La Paz, El Alto, the city has emerged, which now with 848 840 inhabitants ( census 2012) is larger than La Paz; there is also the international La Paz- El Alto airport. The height difference between the further down the valley lying southern neighborhoods with many villas and town border at the upper end of the valley is about 1000 m, down to La Paz at the departure of El Alto leads to one of the most spectacular views in Bolivia. Between the height of the residential area and the social status of its inhabitants, there is a clear relationship: the higher the position, the poorer residents. With an average decrease in temperature by 0.6 ° C per 100 m, the difference between the lowest and the highest residential areas located at least 6 ° C throughout the year; the altitude sickness is a bigger problem in the upper districts of Foreign dar.

The city is the mighty Illimani ( 6,439 m) dominates with its four peaks. With a lot of imagination you can see a picture of Indio and his wife, child and a llama in the rocks on its slopes.



The city center is only slightly different from other cities. Neon signs and posters, numerous shops and an international repertoire and modern office buildings dominate the landscape. Worth seeing is the church of San Francisco, whose construction began in 1549. As in any Bolivian city there are also market halls and huge open markets, where the bizarre so-called " witches market " (the local market for trade in goods is ritual among tourists so called ) is a special feature. Quasi seamlessly at the Witches' Market joins the 'black market' ( Mercado negro ). The shop and stall owners here do not pay taxes or hardly, however, the market is too important (jobs, money, etc. ), as the government would proceed seriously against it. In the downtown area there are many museums. A higher level of awareness, the Coca Museum. In it, the history of Coca is shown from its beginnings as part of cultic rites, to using in modern medicine.

The city itself is divided into two parts: a northern part, which includes the city center and a large part of the culture; and a southern part, in the single-family homes dominate the picture. Be connected both parts with a city highway for cars and a main road for public transport. The southern part is substantially lower than the center, is warmer and therefore very popular with the wealthy segment of the population. As a further extension of the northern part to a lack of space fails, the south is growing even more.


  • Casco Viejo Casco Viejo, the old town and the former center of La Paz, where there are museums, hotels, shops and important buildings such as the Alcadia Municipal de La Paz and the Central Bank of Bolivia, Banco Central de Bolivia. At the Plaza Murillo are the Government Palace and the National Congress.
  • Zona Central: Zona Central is known as "the middle ". Here lies the district of Zona San Jorge. In this area there are shops, hotels and many embassies. There are also several residential buildings as well as restaurants and nightclubs.
  • Sopocachi: Sopocachi is one of the oldest residential areas of the city.
  • San Pedro: San Pedro is one of the oldest parts of the city. Its center is the so-called " Plaza de San Pedro " (official name: Plaza Sucre) on the right bank of the river Choqueyapu. It is home to numerous shops, print shops and car dealerships. In San Pedro Mercado Rodriguez, one of the largest and oldest markets in the city is located.
  • Miraflores: Miraflores is clearly separated from the inner city. This district now live about 45,000 inhabitants. This district was designed in 1927 by the urbanists Dr. Emilio Villanueva. Miraflores is known as a resort, home to a large shopping mall, major universities and hospitals with the important faculty of Medicine of the umsa. In Miraflores is the largest stadium in La Paz, the Estadio Hernando Siles.
  • Zona Norte Zona Norte is particularly characterized by its industry (especially food). In Zona Norte, the highway that connects La Paz with the city of El Alto begins.
  • Zona Sur: The Zona Sur is the deepest point in La Paz and lies at an altitude of 3,200 m. This district is the largest residential area of ​​La Paz The Zona Sur posted lately strong growth and is considered a residential district of the wealthy classes.


La Paz was founded in 1548 by Alonso de Mendoza as a station on the trade route from Potosí to Callao in Peru. The formal founding of the new city was completed on October 20, 1548 in the village of Laja (about 25 km west of present-day La Paz ) determined three days later was a place in the valley of the canyon of the Río Chokeyapu as the site for the new city because there was gold deposits and the valley offered protection from the harsh weather on the plateau of the Altiplano. A portion of the inhabitants of Laja was moved into the new city. The new city was strategically located at the crossroads of the silver route from Potosí to Peru and the Coca path from the Yungas.

The determination of Sucre to the capital after independence in Bolivia in 1825 did not detract from the importance of La Paz. On October 25, 1830 on the supreme decree towards the University Mayor de San Andrés (short: umsa ) was founded.

1899, the city was determined after a brief revolt to the seat of government, as it was not affected as the only major Bolivian city from the economic decline of Potosí.


However, the population of the city of La Paz has risen over the past four decades by about a fifth, in the first decade of the new millennium, declining:

La Paz is the third largest city in Bolivia, after the city of Santa Cruz million ( 1,453,549 inhabitants) in the lowlands and the neighboring city of El Alto ( 848 840 inhabitants).

The agglomeration of La Paz has an estimated two million inhabitants, the Paceños or Paceñas are called, and includes, among others, the cities of El Alto, Viacha and Achocalla one.



The tallest building in La Paz and throughout Bolivia with 107.30 m Banco Central de Bolivia.

Largest bridge in La Paz is the Puente de las Americas (La Paz ), while the triplet bridges Puentes trillizos are currently under construction. Its construction will cost 16 million U.S. dollars.


  • Museo Casa: The museum Museo Casa de Murillo is one of the largest and most famous museums in Bolivia. There are over six thousand exhibits in it.
  • Museo Nacional de Arte: The Museo Nacional de Arte is one of the largest museums of its kind in South America. It has a collection of art treasures from Bolivia, including sculpture, clothing and costumes, valuable china and glassware, furniture and musical instruments. Many works of the most famous painters of Bolivia, including Melchor Pérez de Holguín, can be found in the Baroque building.
  • Coca- Museum: The Coca- Museum is the largest Coca- museum worldwide. In it, among other things, the history of Coca is shown from its beginnings as part of cultic rites to no use in modern medicine.
  • Museo Nacional de Arqueología de Bolivia, Archaeological National Museum

Attractions near La Paz

Points of interest include the Valle de la Luna ( German: Moon Valley ) in the south of the city, the ruins of Tiahuanaco and Lake Titicaca. In addition, the Chacaltaya ( 5421 m) can be visited, on which lies the, now disused, highest ski slope in the world. In La Paz is the Alto Irpavo Velodrome, the highest racing oval in the world ( 3408 m).


La Paz features compared to other Bolivian cities, a rich cultural offer. Almost every day there are concerts, readings, theater and other performances. A particularly important place occupies the folklore: Bolivian dances there is to see not only the numerous folklore parades, but also regularly at the Teatro Municipal, or in the Casa de la Cultura.


La Paz has one of the richest theater scenes Bolivia. The Bolivian theater takes an enlightening and socio-political function, which is represented by a broad spectrum of contemporary playwrights.


La Paz is the place of publication for major national newspapers such as El Diario in Spanish, La Prensa, El Deber, the international newspaper La Razon, among others. Likewise, here some English newspapers are published.


In addition to the state, founded in 1830 Universidad Mayor de San Andrés ( umsa ) in La Paz, there are a number of private universities such as the Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo, the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar and the Universidad del Valle.


In La Paz there is an annual international book fair, at the regional and international participating exponents present their books.


Long-distance traffic

La Paz has a bus station in the north of the city center and is connected by roads in the northern Yungas and in the south to Oruro with the rest of the country. The previously existing rail connection to El Alto ( with access to the lines to Chile and to the south of the country to Oruro and Uyuni ) was shut down in the late 1990s. La Paz has an international and domestic airport. The international airport named Aeropuerto Internacional El Alto Airport La Paz is located in the neighboring city of El Alto, about 50 to 60 minutes from the Zona Sur.


Because of the topography, there are in the urban area only a few broad and flat main roads on which the vehicle traffic is concentrated. In particular, in the city center, which can not be bypassed, it often leads to chaotic traffic conditions.

Public transportation consists mainly of mini buses ( max. 35 euro cents) and taxis ( " Trufis ", max., 50 euro cents ). So there are more than 200 different routes that cover every area of ​​the city. Buses and taxis stop without fixed stops on Beckoning or acclamation, which the heavily polluted main roads in the center particular leads to significant traffic delays. Attempts by the city government to impose mandatory stops in the center were, so far unsuccessfully.

Many radio taxis ( equipped with radios, vehicles that can be ordered by telephone, but also beckoned on the road) characterize the traffic image. The fares of radio taxis are higher than the normal taxis without radio ( which can only be beckoned ), but are considered very safe, as the driver earn a flat rate and are therefore not forced to fast to drive to cleared many passengers as possible. For less than four euros to get inside the city anywhere. At night you should go for safety reasons only with radio taxis, which one has phoned.

To improve the traffic conditions of the construction of an elevated train ( "Tren elevado " ) is discussed at the political level, which will run from the city center in the downhill nearby suburbs of the Zona Sur to be (possibly as monorail ) extended and later from the center to El Alto. Funding, however, is still unclear.

In the summer of 2012, the construction of various cable car lines was announced by Bolivian President Evo Morales, who - to connect the city of El Alto with the deeper seat of government La Paz to counteract the acute especially in rush hours traffic congestion - among others. But even in the best case, the cable car is only about six per cent ( 18,000 persons / hour on all 3 lines, 17 hours of operation / day) can record the daily traffic performance in La Paz; sought is a fare lower than that of minibuses / Truffis [ car - taxis ]. On 10 September 2012, a contract between the Austro -Swiss company Doppelmayr and the Bolivian government was signed. The contract includes investments of 234.6 million U.S. dollars and involves the construction of three lines before:

  • Ciudad Satélite (El Alto ) to San Jorge (casa presidencial, La Paz ); 3908 meters track length
  • San Jorge (casa precidencial, La Paz ) to La Florida, Parque las Cholas ( Zona Sur, LaPaz ); 4701 meters track length
  • Panorámico Norte (El Alto ) to Escuela Naval (La Paz ); 2735 meters track length

Planned construction period is 18 months, so that by opening the lines to be expected in early 2014.


Especially in football and in the tennis sports seat of government dominates the sport mode of the country largely. In the city reside the two most successful football clubs in Bolivia, Club Bolívar ( formed in 1925 ) and The Strongest La Paz ( founded in 1908 ). The derby between the two clubs is called superclásico. Most football games are played at the Estadio Hernando Siles.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Alcides Arguedas, writer and philosopher
  • Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, former president of Bolivia
  • Carlos Mesa, former President of Bolivia
  • Víctor Montoya (born 1958 ), writer
  • Sarah Ismael Mussa, pianist
  • Wilfred von Oven (1912-2008), spokesman of the Ministry of Propaganda, Journalist
  • Verona Pooth, born field Busch, German entertainer, was born in La Paz.
  • Jaime Sáenz, writer
  • Your Laine Sáenz, artist, daughter of Jaime Sáenz
  • Andrés de Santa Cruz, president of Peru and Bolivia
  • Luis Adolfo Siles Salinas, Bolivian lawyer, politician.
  • Alberto Villalpando, composer
  • Emilio Villanueva, Bolivian architect.
  • Yolanda Bedregal, Bolivian poet and poetess.
  • Daniel Nuñez del Prado, the Bolivian foreign minister, freedom fighter and doctor.


  • Brazil São Paulo, Brazil, since 1999
  • Germany Bonn, Germany, since 1996
  • Venezuela Mérida, Venezuela
  • Chile Arica, Chile
  • Chile Calama, Chile
  • Peru Cusco, Peru, since 1984
  • Santa Ana de Coro Venezuela, Venezuela
  • Mexico Pachuca de Soto, Mexico
  • Spain Zaragoza, Spain, since 2008

La Paz is since October 12, 1982 part of the Association of Latin American capitals ( UCCI ) and belongs since 1999 to the network Mercociudades, have already joined the in 2010, 213 cities from Mercosur countries.