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(From top to bottom; from left to right) View of the city from top of San Bernardo Hill; Colonial Cabildo; Cathedral of Salta; Ninth of July Plaza and the Victoria Theatre.
|• Intendenta||Bettina Romero (SNU)|
|Elevation||1,152 m (3,780 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC−3 (ART)|
|Dialing code||+54 387|
Salta (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsalta]) is the capital and most populous city in the Argentine province of the same name. With a population of 618,375 according to the 2010 census, it is also the 7th most-populous city in Argentina. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Valle de Lerma Metropolitan Area (Spanish: Área Metropolitana del Valle de Lerma, AMVL), which is home to over 50.9% of the population of Salta Province and also includes the municipalities of La Caldera, Vaqueros, Campo Quijano, Rosario de Lerma, Cerrillos, La Merced and San Lorenzo. Salta is the seat of the Capital Department, the most populous department in the province.
It is situated in the Lerma Valley, 1,152 metres (3,780 ft) above sea level, at the foothills of the Andes mountains.
The weather is warm and dry, with annual averages of 756 millimetres (29.8 in) of rainfall and an average temperature of 16.4 °C (61.5 °F) (20.4 °C [68.7 °F] in summer, 10.8 °C [51.4 °F] in winter). January, February and March are the months with the greatest rainfall. During the spring, Salta is occasionally plagued by severe, week-long dust storms.
Nicknamed Salta la Linda ("Salta the beautiful"), it has become a major tourist destination due to its old, colonial architecture, tourism friendliness, excellent weather and natural scenery of the valleys westward. Attractions in the city proper include the 18th century Cabildo, the neo-classical style Cathedral, and the 9 de julio central square along with San Bernardo hill and its surroundings. The city's museums exhibit a wide range of artifacts and art work from the native civilizations that flourished in the area (Salta is located in the southernmost region of what was the Inca empire, belonging to the Collasuyu, one of the four areas of the empire until the Spanish conquest), as well as from the 16th century Spanish conquest and the colonial and post-colonial periods. Salta used to be the starting point of the "Train to the Clouds" (Tren a las nubes), and on the way to red-soiled Cafayate, as well as to other nearby tourist destinations.
The Martín Miguel de Güemes Airport, 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) southwest of the city, has regular domestic flights to Buenos Aires, Tucumán, Córdoba, Puerto Iguazú; and international flights to Asunción, Rio de Janeiro, Iquique, Lima, Panama and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Salta was founded on April 16, 1582 by the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma, who intended the settlement to be an outpost between Lima, Peru and Buenos Aires. The origin of the name Salta is a matter of conjecture, with several theories being advanced to explain it.
During the war of independence, the city became a commercial and military strategic point between Perú and the Argentine cities. Between 1816 and 1821, the city was led by local military leader General Martín Miguel de Güemes, who under the command of General José de San Martín, defended the city and surrounding area from Spanish forces coming from further north.
Salta emerged from the War of Independence politically in disarray and financially bankrupt, a condition that lingered throughout much of the 19th century. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the arrival of Italian, Spanish and Arab immigrants, particularly Syrians and Lebanese, revived trade and agriculture all over the area while further enhancing the city's multicultural flavor.
Salta has a subtropical highland climate (Cwb, according to the Köppen climate classification), and it is characterized by pleasant weather year-round. Located in the subtropical north, but at an altitude of 1,200 metres, Salta enjoys 4 distinct seasons: summers are warm with frequent thunderstorms, with daytime highs around 26 to 28 °C (78.8 to 82.4 °F) and pleasant, refreshing nights around 15 or 16 °C (59 or 61 °F). Fall brings dry weather, pleasant days at around 22 °C (71.6 °F) and mild nights at around 10 °C (50.0 °F). By winter, the dryness is extreme, with very few rain episodes. Nights are cool at 3 °C (37.4 °F) on average, but daytime heating allows for high temperatures of 19 °C (66.2 °F). Snow is rare and frost is quite common, with temperatures reaching down to −7 °C (19.4 °F) during the coldest nights. Spring brings sunny weather with warm days and mild nights: days range from 25 to 28 °C (77.0 to 82.4 °F) with nights between 10 to 14 °C (50.0 to 57.2 °F). Salta's winters are rather warm for its elevation and far inland position for a location being just outside the tropics.
Of the over 700 millimetres (28 in) of rain that Salta receives yearly, over 80% falls between December and March, when thunderstorms occur almost daily. During the rest of the year, blue skies dominate the region. Seemingly incessant summer thunderstorms greatly rejuvenate the surrounding mountainous landscape, making the various hills and mountainsides within the vicinity of the city green and lush once again. Salta receives 1863 hours of bright sunshine each year or about 5.1 hours per day. The highest recorded temperature was 39.9 °C (103.8 °F) on November 28, 1972 while the lowest recorded temperature was −9.4 °C (15.1 °F) on August 5, 1966.
The city centre features a number of buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th and early 20th centuries. Clockwise around the Ninth of July Square are the neoclassical Cathedral Shrine, the French style Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cabildo (in former times, the city's town hall, nowadays a historical museum) and the neoclassical Museum of High Mountain Archaeology, which houses artifacts from the Inca civilization, including the mummies of three Inca children. The Plaza is almost completely surrounded by a gallery.
Within walking distance of the 9th July Square are the Saint Francis Church and the city's three pedestrian streets: Alberdi, Florida and "Caseros". The three blocks in Balcarce street closest to the train station are now the centre of night life in Salta, with restaurants, pubs and cafés on both sidewalks and concerts every night.
Rising in the east is San Bernardo Hill. Its summit, from which visitors can get a view of the city and the entire valley, can be reached by car, cable car or stairway.
Culture and arts
Salta is probably the most Spanish city in Argentina by physical appearance: so much so that tourists visiting from Spain often find a strong resemblance between Salta and Andalucian cities. The local culture, however, is a blend of Spanish and gaucho (mestizo, criollo, both indigenous and non-indigenous) traditions, lending the city a distinctive identity, somewhat different from the more European-like metropolises to the south.
The city boasts three theatres, several museums (one of which exhibits the perfectly preserved bodies of c.500 year old Inca children sacrificed in the Andes to Inca gods), and a busy calendar of art exhibitions, shows, music festivals, and other cultural events.
One of the main activities in Salta is the April Culture Festival, which lasts the entire month and offers a wide variety of activities such as cultural performances, a handcraft exposition, and live orchestral performances.
Salta residents, like most Argentines, are very enthusiastic about football. The most important local clubs are Juventud Antoniana, Gimnasia y Tiro de Salta, and Central Norte; many faithful fans follow each. These three clubs currently play in the third national division.
Other locally popular sports include baseball (a game in which Salta players excel nationally), basketball, volleyball, rugby, and mountaineering.
The main sporting venue in Salta is the Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium; the Gimnasia y Tiro and Juventud Antoniana stadiums also see many athletic matches. The largest roofed facility in the city is the Ciudad de Salta Stadium, chiefly used for basketball, volleyball, and boxing.
Over the last twenty years, Salta has played host to such high-profile international sporting events as the 1990 Basketball World Cup, the 1994 Camel Trophy, the 2002 Volleyball World Cup, and the 2009 Hockey Champions Challenge. The Argentina national rugby union team, the "Pumas", have played in Salta against Italy (2005), England (2009), (2013). and South Africa (2016.) Top football clubs, including Boca Juniors, River Plate and Racing, have played friendly games in Salta in summer, off-season matches.
Politics of Salta
Salta is governed by a city council of 21 members. Following the elections of November 2013 the Workers' Party has 9 seats, the Justicialist Party has 6 seats, and there are 6 others.
- Carlos Santiago Fayt, academic, judge
- Carlos Ibarguren, academic, politician
- César Isella, folk singer
- Christian Rodrigo Zurita, footballer
- Daniel Tinte, pianist, composer
- David Kavlin, TV host
- Dino Saluzzi, bandoneonist, composer
- Jorge Horacio Brito, banker, businessman
- José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, former economy minister
- José Evaristo Uriburu, president of Argentina
- José Félix Uriburu, de facto president of Argentina
- José Valdiviezo, footballer
- Juan Figallo, rugby player
- Juana Manuela Gorriti, feminist writer
- Los Chalchaleros, folk music band
- Los Nocheros, folk music band
- Luciana Pedraza, actress
- Luciano Leccese, footballer
- Lucrecia Martel, film director
- Luís Sillero, footballer
- Mariano Boedo, statesman
- Martín Miguel de Güemes, general
- Robustiano Patrón Costas, infamous sugar tycoon
- Victorino de la Plaza, politician, president of Argentina
- Walter Busse, footballer
- Wilfred Benitez, Puerto Rican boxer
- The film Taras Bulba, starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis, was largely shot in the hills west of the city, near San Lorenzo.
- Actor John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard and Smallville) was part of the cast of Cocaine Wars, another film shot in Salta.
- Two Hollywood celebrities have married Salta natives: Matt Damon (to Luciana Bozán Barroso), and Robert Duvall (to Luciana Pedraza).
- Di Fabio Rocca, Francisco; Albeza, María Virginia; Bárbara Postillone, María; Acreche, Noemí; Lafage, Lucía; Parolín, María Laura; Dejean, Cristina; Carnese, Francisco Raúl; Avena, Sergio (2016). "Historia poblacional y análisis antropogenético de la ciudad de Salta" (PDF). Andes (in Spanish). Salta, Argentina. 27. ISSN 0327-1676. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
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