Travel through history. Bolivia

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Travel through history. Bolivia

Bolivia has seen many wars, revolutions and economic oppression over thousands of years but is now finally independent and slowly trying to build itself back up again. It is a country rich in history, going all the way to 2000 BC. From being conquered by the Inca Empire and then taken over by the Spaniards, you will see the different influences that these empires have within their cities.

Located in South America, Bolivia shares its boarders with ArgentinaParaguayPeru, Chile and Brazil.

The first known ancient civilization in Bolivia can be traced all the way back to 2000 BC, they were known as the Tiwanakan culture and who built the ancient great city of Tiwanaku, located south of Lake Titicaca.

Thereafter, in the 15th Century, the Inca Empire conquered Bolivia. This didn’t last all that long as the Spanish conquest began in 1524 and the Incas were then overthrown in 1533.

Many cities were founded under Spanish rule such as Chuquisaca, La Paz, Cochabamba and Oruro and in 1545 silver was discovered in Potosi, creating slavery and forced labour of the Indian population which then resulted in many deaths at the mines.

1780 brought about the rebellion of the Bolivian Indians who had had enough of being slaves to the Spaniards. Their aim was to revamp the old Inca Empire which would replace the oppressive Spanish rule. This rebellion only lasted 2 years and was crushed in 1782 as they failed to capture La Paz.

Independence from Spanish rule was finally gained in 1825 after 16 years of fighting between the Bolivians and the Spanish. Boliva was then granted its name after the great liberator and general Simon Bolivar.

The euphoria was short lived as Bolivia started to face economic depression and many silver mines were deserted. In 1879 a decision was made to increase taxation on Chilean owned companies which was not well received and the War of the Pacific began between the two countries. Bolivia lost the war and had to give up the strip of coastline that belonged to them making them a landlocked country.

The 1900s began and was immediately filled with revolution and turmoil for the country of Bolivia and many changes in leadership, governments, attempts at democracy, and military coups took place over the 50 years.

In 1965, a guerrilla movement mounted from Cuba and was lead by Major Ernesto “Che” Guevara which began the historic revolutionary war. With the aid of U.S. military, the Bolivian army ended the guerrilla movement, capturing and killing Guevara on October 8, 1967.

Over the next 18 years Bolivia had to deal with military dictatorship and amazingly despite the repression, the Bolivian economy increased and the population grew at a rapid rate. In the early 1980s the economy then took a downturn due to mass demonstrations and international condemnation which lead to the military dictatorship stepping down and congress being restored again.

Today Bolivia still remains a poor country but it is rich in its resources and generally quite safe. It is a great country for those who want to do a road trip and explore the ancient cities, observe the old architecture and to see its beautiful scenery and wildlife. There is so much to do and see in this historic country so contact us at Mir Visa Travel where we will help you create an exciting inventory and assist in booking your next trip to Bolivia!

A few of the historical sites that can be seen are as follows:

  • Tiwanaku - UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
  • Sucre Cathedral - The building was initiated in 1559 but did not reach completion until 250 years after that. The architectural style of the build represents a combination of European and traditional but also takes influences from Renaissance and neo-Gothic periods, making this cathedral unique.
  • Casa Nacional de la Moneda (National Mint) – can be found in Potosí, which is also the highest city in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with Spanish colonial architecture. The National Mint began producing coins in 1574 but today this building functions as a museum.

Capital: Sucre

Population: estimated 11.05 million

Major language: Spanish and several dozen indigenous languages

Major religion: Roman Catholic

Currency: Boliviano

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