Bolivia travel blog by Mark Berman -
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Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, it's a lovely city full of white colonial arquitecture. For this reason it also known as the white city
and is a photographers dream. If you are a photographer the most important decision you need to make is whether to wait until a fine day to visit
the city, do you want blue sky or cloudy white sky in the background of your photos? It was mainly cloudy when I was here and the whiteness of the
buildings and clouds actually give for a nice effect.
Bus from Potosi
I came here from Potosi
, 3hrs 30mins by bus. I looked forward to exploring the streets, parks,
colonial arquitecture and monuments for which there are plenty. I found a cheap room in the center of Sucre's historical area, $5USD per person
and set out on foot from there.
White City Tour
I came to firstly the church / convent El Convento y Basilica de San Francisco de Asis which was built in 1538, it
is one of the most well-attended churches in the city and its interior has great artistic value. (All churches and buildings talked about in this
blog are white unless otherwise stated). Across the road is a plaza with tall trees and gardens, Plazuela Santa Cruz. A monument to the founder
of the university Juan de Frias-Herran (1624-1969) stands in the middle. Just a few minutes walk I came to the central plaza / park, Plaza 25 de Mayo.
It has lovely gardens, flowers, trees and monuments and is surrounded by interesting structures like the cathedral and municipal buildings. The
monument in the middle is that of Jaime de Zudanez de la Torre
(1772-1832), a politician and hero of the independence. The other monument
is of Jose Bernardo Monteagudo (1786-1825), an Argentinian lawyer, politician, journalist and revolutionary. One side of the park is dominated by
2 buildings, the Capilla Virgen de Guadalupe (cathedral) and the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace). The great clock tower with its many bells
and statues that stands on the corner was reconstructed in 1972. A short walk from Plaza 25 de Mayo is Plaza Cochabamba, it has some nice flower
gardens and is on the opposite side of the road to the church Templo de la Merced. 2 blocks north / west of here I found Plaza Zudanez with its tall
palm trees on the opposite side of the road to the church Santuario de Maria Auxiliadora, which was constructed in 1592. It's a beautiful building
and is not stark white in color, more like an off-white.
Walking to Parque Simon Bolivar (Park)
I walked in the direction of Sucre's big park Parque Simon Bolivar 4 blocks away. I passed
a church, Capilla de Santa Barbara which seems to have turned into a hospital now, but the building is that of a church. Next to this is the Plaza
Libertad with its bright colored flower beds and monument to Joaquin Gantier Valda (1900-1994), a playwright, biographer and poet. A tall white
column stands in the gardens as a gift in May 1968 from the people of Buenos Aires (Argentina) to the people of Sucre. The cities theatre Teatro
Gran Mariscal is on one side of the plaza and the supreme court, Corte Suprema de Justicia also nearby. Across the road from all this is park Bolivar
with its big arched entranceway. Just through the arches a woman sold pieces of yummy cake of several types which were going fast. The park is
fantastic, lots of space, lots of monuments including one of the Eiffel Tower of Paris that you can climb up. The park has many little areas that
are all different from each other including a water fountain at the north / western end across the road from the old train station, Estacion Presidente
Arce. A monument to Aniceto Arce
(1824-1906) stands nearby, he was an ex-president
of Bolivia and the founder of the city Uyuni.
Back in the Center
Heading back towards the
center now for a 3 course lunch at a restaurant for around $4USD. Afterwards I found a stairway named after Casiano Tejeda Molina (1916-1975), he
was the favorite son of the city. This stairway and monument stands at the arches, Arcos de Surapata. In the center I visited the markets Mercado
Central, fruit, veg, baked sweet cakes and breads and flowers.
The Dinosaur Park
The last thing I did in Sucre was visit Parque Cretacico, this is a park that used
to be a quarry. The tracks of dinosaurs were discovered in 1994, tracks of many species. You pay $30 Bolivianos ($4.30USD) to go in (locals pay $10).
Inside there are a whole bunch of models of dinosaurs looking scary, the dinosaur tracks are on the opposite side of the quarry on the limestone wall
Cal Orck'o and can be viewed from the park. I appreciate the dinosaur tracks but really this place was terrible, it's for kids. I felt really stupid
walking around the gardens looking at plastic dinosaurs. I can't recommend it, don't bother unless you have children. Parque Cretacico is a 5-10mins
drive from the center of Sucre, there is a small museum there also.
There are More Churches
Sucre has much more, there are
many more churches - San Pablo, San Pedro, Santa Rita, Taracajoncito, San Lazaro, San Miguel, San Roque, San Sebastian, Santa Monica and San Felipe de Neri.
I look forward to visiting again another time.
Bus to Potosi, then Tupiza
From Sucre I travelled 3hrs 30mins back to Potosi
bus terminal and a further 6hrs through the night to Tupiza