Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, in a valley with the same name, in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia and its name is from a compound of the Quechua words qucha, meaning lake, and pampa, open plain. Residents of the city and surrounding areas are referred to as Cochalas. It is known as the City of Eternal Spring and The Garden City because of its spring-like temperatures all year round and it is also known as La Llajta, which means town in Quechua. The Cochabamba valley was inhabited for thousands of years due to its productive soils. The area got its name, from Quechua Kochaj-pampa, as part of the Inca civilization, the area was conquered by Topa Inca Yupanqui. His son Huayna Capac turned Cochabamba into a large production enclave or state farm to serve the Incas, possibly depopulated during the conquest, Huayna Capac imported 14,000 people, called mitimas, to work the land. The principal crop was maize which could not be grown in much of the high, the maize was stored in 2,400 storehouses in the hills overlooking the valley or transported by llama caravan to storage sites in Paria, Cusco, of other Inca administrative centers. Most of the maize was probably used to sustain the Inca army during its campaigns, the first Spanish inhabitant of the valley was Garci Ruiz de Orellana in 1542. He purchased the majority of the land from tribal chiefs Achata. The price paid was 130 pesos and his residence, known as the House of Mayorazgo, stands in the Cala Cala neighborhood. The city, called Villa de Oropesa, was founded on 2 August 1571 by order of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo, with the silver mining industry in Potosi at its height, Cochabamba thrived during its first centuries. The city entered a period of decline during the 18th century as mining began to wane, in 1786, King Charles III of Spain renamed the city to the loyal and valiant Villa of Cochabamba. This was done to commend the citys role in suppressing the indigenous rebellions of 1781 in Oruro by sending armed forces to Oruro to quell the uprisings. Since the late 19th century it has again been generally successful as a centre for Bolivia. The 1793 census shows that the city had a population of 22,305 persons, there were 12,980 mestizos,6,368 Spaniards,1,182 indigenous natives,1,600 mulattos and 175 African slaves. In 1900, the population was 21,886, besides a number of schools and charitable institutions, the diocese has 55 parishes,80 churches and chapels, and 160 priests. In 1999 and 2000, large-scale protests reversed the privatisation of the water supply
Palacio Portales built for mining magnate Simon Patiño
Sarco Templo la Merced
Exterior view of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Cochabamba.