Definitions

Sucre

Sucre

[soo-kre]
Sucre, Antonio José de, 1795-1830, South American revolutionist, b. Cumaná, Venezuela. He joined (1811) the forces fighting for independence from Spain and rose to be the chief lieutenant of Simón Bolívar. After Colombia had been liberated from the Spanish, Bolívar sent Sucre to the Quito region (now Ecuador), where he won (1822) the brilliant victory of Pichincha. Accompanying Bolívar to Peru, he distinguished himself in the revolutionary victory of Junín (Aug., 1824). Bolívar was absent, and Sucre was the chief commander when the battle of Ayacucho was fought (Dec., 1824). Sucre's military genius was splendidly displayed in this victory, which assured the independence of South America. The terms he granted to the defeated were generous, and Sucre was known for his kindness as well as his honesty and self-effacing modesty. It was against his own will that he became president of the newly created state of Bolivia, and he was not happy in the post. Despite the conciliatory spirit of his rule, an attempt was made on his life. In 1828 he resigned and returned to Quito. A few months later he led the forces that repelled a Peruvian invasion. He was elected president of the constitutional convention that met in 1830 in an effort to prevent Bolívar's large republic of Colombia from disintegrating. Sucre's efforts to prevent Venezuela from seceding and becoming a separate state failed. In June, 1830, when he was riding back from the congress to his home in Quito, he was waylaid by unknown men in a wild mountainous region and killed.
Sucre, city (1992 pop. 131,769), S central Bolivia, constitutional capital of Bolivia and capital of Chuquisaca dept. Since 1898, La Paz has been the administrative capital of Bolivia and the seat of the legislative and executive branches of government; Sucre is the seat of the judiciary. The city lies in a mountain valley on the eastern slope of the Andes at an altitude of c.8,500 ft (2,590 m). The climate is moderate. Sucre is a major agricultural center and supplies the mining communities of the barren altiplano. It also has an oil refinery and a cement plant. The city is the seat of the archbishopric, the supreme court, and the national university, San Francisco Xavier, which was founded c.1625 and specializes in law. Sucre was founded in 1538 and called La Plata; the city was also called Chuquisaca and Charcas. It was given its present name in 1839 in honor of the revolutionary leader Antonio José de Sucre. The revolt against Spanish rule began in Sucre in 1809.

Judicial capital (pop., 2001: 193,873), Bolivia. Founded by the Spanish (circa 1539) on the site of a Charcas Indian village, it became the capital of the Charcas territory of Upper Peru in 1561 and in 1609 the seat of an archdiocese. Many of its colonial churches survive. It was an early scene (1809) of the revolt against Spain. The Bolivian declaration of independence was signed there in 1825, and it became the capital in 1839. An effort to move the capital to La Paz in 1898 precipitated a civil war, which left the two cities sharing capital status. Sucre is also the seat of the national supreme court. It is a growing commercial centre. The University of San Francisco Xavier, one of the oldest universities in South America, was founded there in 1624.

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Sucre (population 247,300 in 2006) is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, seat of the Supreme Court (Corte Suprema de Justicia), and capital of the Chuquisaca department. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an altitude of 2750m (9,000ft). Its lower altitude gives the city a warm temperate climate year-round.

On November 30 1538 Sucre was founded under the name Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo by Pedro Anzures, Marqués de Campo Redondo. In 1538 the Spanish King Philip II established the Audiencia de Charcas in La Plata with authority over an area which covers what is now Paraguay, southeastern Peru, Northern Chile and Argentina, and much of Bolivia. The Audiencia de Charcas was a subdivision of the Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1601 the Recoleta Monastery was founded by the Franciscans and in 1609, an archbishopric was founded in the city. In 1624, St Francis Xavier University of Chuquisaca was founded.

Very much a Spanish city during the colonial era, the narrow streets of the city centre are organised in a grid, reflecting the Andalusian culture that is embodied in the architecture of the city's great houses and numerous convents and churches. Sucre remains the seat of the Catholic church in Bolivia, and a common sight is members of religious orders dressed in traditional costume. For much of its colonial history, Sucre's temperate climate was preferred by the Spanish royalty and wealthy families involved in silver trade coming from Potosí. Testament to this is the Glorieta Castle. Sucre's University (Universidad Real & Pontifice de San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca) is one of the oldest universities in the new world.

Until the 19th century, La Plata was the judicial, religious and cultural centre of the region. In 1839, after the city became the capital of Bolivia, it was renamed in honour of the revolutionary leader Antonio José de Sucre. Too remote after the economic decline of Potosí and its silver industry, it saw the Bolivian seat of government move to La Paz in 1898. Many argue Sucre was the epicenter that initiated the independence campaign against Spain in all of Latin America. The first "Grito Libertario" (Shout for Freedom) in any Western Hemisphere Spanish colony of took place in Sucre in 1809. Ironically, Bolivia was the last territory to gain its independence in 1825. In 1991, Sucre became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The city attracts thousands of tourists every year thanks to its well-conserved downtown with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Nestled at the foot of the twin hills of Churuquella and Sika Sika, Sucre is the gateway to numerous small villages that date from the colonial era, the most well-known of which is Tarabuco, home of the colorful "Pujllay" festival held each March. Most of these villagers are members of one of the indigenous ethnicities. Many dress in clothing distinctive to their respective villages.

The City of Four Names

Sucre is also called “The City of Four Names”. Each of the well known names represent a specific era of the city's history.

  • Charcas was the indigenous name for the place upon which the Spaniards built the colonial city.
  • La Plata was the name given to the emerging Hispanic city of privilege and honor.
  • The name Chuquisaca was bestowed upon the city during the independence era.
  • Sucre honors the great marshal of the Battle of Ayacucho (December 9, 1824), Don Antonio Jose de Sucre.

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