Riobamba (full name San Pedro de Riobamba) is the capital of the Chimborazo Province in central Ecuador, which is located at the Chambo River Valley of the Andes. It is 200 km (125 miles) south of Ecuador's capital Quito and located at on the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
The region surrounding Riobamba was a Puruhá Indian territory before it was conquered by the Incas during the late 15th century. In 1534, the city was founded in the San Miguel plains, becoming the first city in modern-day Ecuador to be established. In 1563 the city became part of the Spanish Empire
's newly-formed Royal Audience of Quito
. The city was completely destroyed by earthquake in 1797, but rebuilt a few years later 14 km (9 miles) away from its original location (near a village named Cajabamba in the plains of San Antonio de Aguíscate). The city still retains much architecture from the Spanish period.
In the Ecuadorian War of Independence Riobamba first declared independence on November 11, 1820 but was soon retaken. The city finally became part of an independent Gran Colombia in 1822, and then a separate Republic of Ecuador in 1830.
Geography & climate
Riobamba is located in the center of the country in the sierra region, within close proximity to the Chimborazo volcano
. Like many cities in Ecuador, Riobamba has a near constant temperature year-round, with a wet and dry season. Its altitude (2754m) and closeness to Chimborazo give the city a cool climate year-round, with temperatures averaging between 23°C and 14°C.
The economy of the city mainly focuses on the agricultural production of the surrounding local populations. Besides this, Riobamba has an open-air market where indigenous artisans display their wares, where people can find manufactured products as textiles, handicrafts, leather goods, beer, and dairy products. Riobamba is also an important trade center of cattle-ranching.
Universities include Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo, Escuela Superior Politecnica de Chimborazo, Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and Instituto Tecnologico superior Isabel de godin.
Riobamba is a mid-level city in Ecuador, and the 10th largest in terms of population. It is the urban center of the Riobamaba canton, with a historic center that has a number of well-preserved churches.
The main celebration in Riobamba is Fiesta del Niño Rey de Reyes, which starts in December and ends on January 6. It has many colorful parades and music during the festivities. Another celebration is Riobamba's Independence Day on 21st of April. During those days people enjoy many concerts, drinking and lively parades. As most of the population does not work during these festivals, it is very difficult to find accommodation or any other service. The last festivity in Riobamba is its Foundation, which takes place at the 11th of November.
It is a privately run museum with sculptures, furniture, photographic materials, and documented memorabilia, located on Velasco 24-25 and Velóz.
It exhibits a wide selection of uniforms, arms as well as religious materials which depict various epochs of Ecuador's history, located on Ave. Héroes de Tapi.
- Arte Relegioso de la Concepción
This museum has a gem-encrusted gold monstrance. The art encased in this religious collection is comes from the 18th century. entry.
- Ciecias Naturales del Colegio Maldonado
- Casa de Bolivar
- Antropológico del Banco Central
- Etnográfico de la Casa de la Cultura
Churches in Riobamba include Catedral, Basílica del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, Concepción, La Merced, San Antonio, San Alfonso, Casa Madre, and Capilla del Colegio San Felipe Neri.
Riobamba is a good base to climb Carihuairazo, Chimborazo, Sangay and Altar. There is a ball game in Riobamba called "the mamona", which is played with a leather ball. It is usually played by the locals all afternoons at the Plaza Roja. Mountain biking is another common sport. Swimming can be practiced in CENAEST, where temperate swimming pools and Spa attract many tourists. Cockfights are usually seen during Riobamba's festivities and on weekends at the Gallera San Francisco. Riobamba is the home city of one top-level football club, Centro Deportivo Olmedo