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Cordoba History, Argentina


The rest of the world knows it as the ‘Cultural Capital of the Americas,’ (as the city was tagged in 2006), but Cordoba is more than an emerging centre for classical and contemporary fine art forms besides academic and other creative talents: it boasts many legends and tons of history.

  Back in her younger days: Cordoba’s past

Many foreign expeditions came upon Cordoba’s soil and worked towards colonization efforts, each attracted by the wealth of precious metals available in its mountains, of which the Spanish were the main.

  Early Settlers:

In the ancient times, the chief tribes inhabiting Cordoba were the Comechingones (their mountain home was traditionally known as Cordobesas) and Sanavirones. These Aboriginals inhabited the hilly terrain by the neighboring provinces San Luis as well and were a fiercely proud and aggressive tribe, ruled by warlords.

They mainly inhabited regions like Quilino and Ongamira, used their name as a war cry to incite and kill, were extremely well-trained in using bows, arrows, batons as weapons and painted their faces half red, half black to intimidate enemies.

They spoke a variety of dialects, wore long shirts and were said to have favoured full beards, being tall and strapping people. The many rock-art pictographs done by them in the numerous caves in Cordoba never cease to lose their magnetism for archaeologists and common travelers; its economy since its early days having improved tremendously due to the harvesting of fruit, livestock and game that its people subsisted on for more than a couple of centuries.

Cordoba Founded officially:

Spanish warlords overthrew this ancient tribe around 1573 with a Captain Lorenzo Suarez de Figueroa entrusting General Jeronimo Luis Cabrera with breaking the valleys of the Sierras Chicas for the conquerors of Peru High (as they regarded themselves) for building the city of Cordoba in the New Andalusia. Thus, Cordoba as we know it today was founded on the banks of First River in the summer of the same year.

Thereafter, its new governor joined Tucuman, (Chilean and Peruvian Viceroyalty) to increase strategic importance, of Cordoba; its limits then stretched till regions of San Juan, San Luis, Mendoza and La Rioja.

 Stabilization and period of growth:

Soon, commercial channels were consolidated with the coming of Jesuits after 16th century; they also encouraged education by founding the Jesuit High School in 1608 and the National University (1613) - the second in Latin America besides introducing religious philosophy to Cordoba when they erected the Society of Jesus in 1650, which is the city’s oldest temple and now a national monument (declared so in 1940) besides being a World Heritage Site (as of 2000!)

Missionary efforts in Cordoba continued to enrich the lives of the people and in 1783 it became the capital city.

 Turbulent Times: 

However, political circumstances changed: a revolution broke out in May 1810, the first of many faced by Cordoba and Buenos Aires till 1820!

More internal revolts continued despite stabilization efforts. Only when the new railways system brought in immigrants by 1887 to set up several small agricultural colonies spread out in surrounding regions was commercial growth established! In 1918, modernization via youth efforts started in Cordoba while post WW-II, the industrial developments in the city lured many foreign investors to set up shop here, including auto industries. However, further military coups in 1955 right up till the violent May, 1969, revolt known as the Cordobazo, which caused overthrowing Onganía, the dictator, led Cordoba towards a prosperous future despite the factions that continued from 1973 till date.

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