- /lah pahs"/; Eng. /leuh pahz"/1. a city in and the administrative capital of Bolivia, in the W part; Sucre is the official capital. 660,700; ab. 12,000 ft. (3660 m) above sea level.2. a city in SE Lower California, in NW Mexico. 46,000.
* * *ISituated on La Paz Bay of the Gulf of California, it is a popular resort and the largest urban centre in the state. The bay was discovered by the Spanish in 1596; the town was established in the early 1800s and served as the capital of Baja California (1828–87). When the peninsula was divided between the U.S. and Mexico (1887), La Paz became the capital of the Mexican region.IILocated in west-central Bolivia, it is the world's highest capital, built over 12,000 ft (3,650 m) above sea level. The city centre lies in a canyon formed by the La Paz River. Founded in 1548 by the Spanish on the site of an Inca village, it was originally called Nuestra Señora de La Paz ("Our Lady of Peace"). In 1835 it was renamed La Paz de Ayacucho to commemorate the decisive battle in the colony's wars of independence. Since 1898 it has been the administrative capital of Bolivia, though Sucre remains the judicial capital. It is Bolivia's principal industrial centre and also the site of the University of San Andrés (1830), the National Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Archaeology.
* * *▪ Boliviacity, administrative capital of Bolivia, west-central Bolivia, situated some 42 miles (68 km) southeast of Lake Titicaca. La Paz, which lies between 10,650 and 13,250 feet (3,250 and 4,100 metres) above sea level, is the world's highest national capital. Visitors, upon arrival, find exertion difficult because of the rarefied atmosphere found at these elevations. The centre of the city lies in a deep, broad canyon formed by the La Paz, or Choqueyapu, River. The city's location, about 1,400 feet (430 metres) below the surface of the Altiplano, the high intermontane plateau, affords some protection from the cold highland winds. Recent population growth has spread the city up the canyon walls to the edge of the Altiplano. La Paz was Bolivia's most populous city until the turn of the 21st century, when it was overtaken by Santa Cruz.Founded in 1548 as Nuestra Señora de La Paz (“Our Lady of Peace”) by the conquistador Captain Alonso de Mendoza on the site of an Inca village, the city was renamed La Paz de Ayacucho in 1825, in commemoration of the last decisive battle in the wars of independence. The seat of national government was established there in 1898, but Sucre remains Bolivia's constitutional capital, home to the country's Supreme Court; La Paz is the seat of the executive and legislative branches. The Plaza Murillo, on the northeastern side of the river, is the heart of the city and site of the huge modern cathedral and government and legislative palaces. Although few colonial buildings survive, the narrow, steep, older streets, red-tile roofs, many skyscrapers, and highland Indians in colourful dress, with Nevado Illimani (Illimani, Nevado) (21,004 feet [6,402 metres]) and other snowcapped peaks of the Cordillera Real in the background, give La Paz a distinctive atmosphere. La Paz is the site of the University of San Andrés (1830) and Bolivian Catholic University (1966). The National Museum of Art, a children's museum, the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore, the National Museum of Archaeology, and the Mercado de Brujas (“Witches' Market”), where herbs and other remedies used by the Aymara are sold, are among the city's cultural assets. The city was hit by an earthquake in 1998 that killed hundreds of residents and destroyed many buildings.La Paz's industries are chiefly food processing and the manufacture of textiles, clothing, shoes, and chemicals. La Paz is connected by railways and highways with Peruvian and Chilean seaports and with Argentina and Brazil. Its international airport is located above the city on the plateau. Pop. (2001) 789,585.▪ Hondurastown, southwestern Honduras, at an elevation of 2,461 feet (750 m) above sea level in the Comayagua River valley, on the eastern flanks of the Cordillera de Montecillos. It was founded in 1792 and has been called La Paz since 1861. The city serves as a commercial centre for the surrounding agricultural and pastoral lands, which yield primarily henequen, coffee, and cattle. The town has a sawmill, a tannery, and a liquor distillery. There is also some mining in the vicinity. La Paz is accessible by highway from Tegucigalpa, the national capital, and other centres. Pop. (2001) 16,947.▪ Mexicocity, capital of Baja California Sur estado (state), northwestern Mexico. It lies about 40 feet (12 metres) above sea level on sheltered La Paz Bay of the Gulf of California (California, Gulf of) (also called Sea of Cortez) and has a hot, dry climate. Spaniards charted the bay in 1533, but a Jesuit mission was not established there until 1720; it was abandoned some 30 years later, owing to the harsh climate, Indian uprisings, and the loss of much of the local population to introduced diseases. Pearl diving and mining continued to attract Spanish interests, and a permanent settlement was founded in 1811. La Paz became the territorial capital in 1829.La Paz has been a popular tourist destination since the mid-1970s, when an international airport was completed and the Transpeninsular Highway from the U.S.-Mexico border was paved. Attractions, in addition to its sunny beaches and beautiful bay, include sport fishing (marlin, sailfish, tuna, and others), aquatic sports, and excursions to nearby islands for diving and wildlife observation. Manufactures include plastics and clothing. La Paz is also a commercial fishing port, a regional transportation centre, and a market for agricultural products from the surrounding countryside, including corn (maize), wheat, beans, cotton, and cattle. La Paz may be reached by road and air links as well as by automobile ferry from the Mexican mainland. Pop. (2000) 162,954.
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