July 28, 2013

0771 BOLIVIA (La Paz) - La Paz

On his full name Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace), the administrative capital of Bolivia is located in the western part of the country, at an elevation of roughly 3,650m above sea level, being the world's highest de facto capital city, or administrative capital (Quito is the highest legal capital). The city sits in a "bowl" surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano. Overlooking it is towering triple-peaked Illimani (in the postcard), which is always snow-covered and can be seen from several spots of the city.

Founded in 1548 by the Spanish conquistadors at the site of the Native American settlement, Laja, La Paz was the commercial and political focus of colonial life. In 1825, after the victory of the republicans at Ayacucho in the Spanish American wars of independence, the city's full name was changed to La Paz de Ayacucho (The Peace of Ayacucho). In 1898 it was made the seat of the national government, with Sucre remaining the nominal historical as well as judiciary capital. This change reflected the shift of the Bolivian economy away from the largely exhausted silver mines of Potosí to the exploitation of tin near Oruro, and resulting shifts in the distribution of economic and political power among various national elites. Now there are extraordinary tourist attractions, notably the Andean peaks Illimani and Illampú, Lake Titicaca, the ruins of Tiahuanaco, and the adjacent tropical yungas.

For this postcard I have to thank to Marcelo Rojas Calderon, tour leader at Inday Tours & Expeditions. If all the employees of this tour operator are as friendly and helpful as Marcelo, then this is the company that you must to contact when you will want to travel in Bolivia. Its presentation say all about its politics: "Maybe we are not a giant tour operator, but our strength is our long experience interacting with some kind visitors that we had the great chance to meet. And so we understand mostly their expectations about Bolivia."

About the stamps

First stamp is part of a series about traditional gastronomy, about which I wrote here.

The second was issued on December 19, 2012, to commemorate 50 years since the foundation of the Private Employers Confederation of Bolivia.

The third is part of the series Minerals of Bolivia, issued on July 11, 2012, and composed of four stamps:
Andorite, San Jose Mine, Oruro (1.00 BOB)
Bismuthinite, Tazna Mine, Potosi (1.50 BOB) - it's on this postcard
Quartz - Amethist, Anahi Mine, Santa Cruz (2.00 BOB)
Cassiterite, Chojlla Mine, Sud Yungas La Paz (5.00 BOB)

The fourth stamp is part of the series Orchids, issued on September 19, 2012, and composed of four stamps:
Vasqueziella boliviana dodson (0.50 BOB)
Masdevallia yungasensis hashimoto (1.50 BOB)
Cattleya rex o’brien (3.00 BOB)
Restrepia vasquezii luer (5.00 BOB)

La Paz - Wikipedia

sender: Marcelo Rojas Calderon (direct swap)
sent from La Paz (La Paz / Bolivia), on 24.05.2013

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