La Rioja, Argentina

La Rioja is a city in northwestern Argentina and the capital of the province of La Rioja. It lies at the foot of belonging to the Sierras Pampeanas Sierra de Mazán and has 143 684 inhabitants ( or Sierra Velasco? ) (2001, source: INDEC )


The city lies at 543 meters above sea level at the northwestern end of a vast steppe adhere level that covers the entire southeastern part of the province with the exception of some smaller mountain ranges. To the west lie the Sierras Sierra de Velasco and Sierra de Mazán.


The climate is dry and subtropical with very hot summers.


The city was founded in 1591 by Ramirez de Velasco, the former governor of the colonial province of Tucumán. By the end of the 19th century was La Rioja, the only place of some importance in the province.

At the end of the 19th century, the city had a population of 8000. In 1894, however, an earthquake destroyed the city almost completely, so that after that only very few buildings from the colonial era remain.

From the 1970s, the population thanks to a successful development policy grew rapidly, its population tripled between 1975 and 2001.


La Rioja was until the 1970s an agricultural town, which in the area was important mainly as a center of viticulture. The Statement on Special Economic Zone in the early 1970s brought a strong industrialization boost for the city, one of the centers of the Argentine pharmaceutical industry (eg Bagó ) is today.


Sons and daughters of the town

  • Isabel Martínez de Perón, was from July 1974 to March 1976 President of Argentina.
  • Franco Zuculini, football player