Salta, capital of the province of the same name in northwestern Argentina, located at an elevation of 3,893 feet and 140 miles north of Tucumán (2001 population of 464,678). Founded at its present site in 1582 by Hernando de Lerma, it was intended, along with other settlements in northwestern Argentina, to secure the presence of the Spaniards in Río de la Plata against territorial claims of advancing conquerors from Peru. During colonial times it gained notoriety for blending Spanish and Indian traditions in its religious art and as the site of the Intendancy of Salta. However, constant attacks from Calchaquí Indians and devastating earthquakes halted an otherwise sustained development based on agriculture (maize, wheat, alfalfa) and the export of mules for the silver mines of Potosí in Bolivia. Near Salta, General Manuel Belgrano defeated the Spanish royalists in 1813 and brought this conservative province over to the independents. The novelist Juana Manuela Gorriti, who was born in Salta and described the city in many of her works, offered colorful costumbrista portraits of nineteenth-century life in the church and in the home. Today the city is an active center of communications; railway lines lead to Antofagasta (Chile) and to La Paz (Bolivia) via La Quiaca, and there is a motorway to Potosí, Oruro, and La Paz. The city's industries are restricted to cement factories and ironworks in the Chachapoyas district.
See alsoArgentina, Geography .
Gorriti, Juana Manuela. Peregrinaciones de una alma triste. Edited by Mary G Berg. Buenos Aires: Stockcero, 2006.
Mata de López, Sara. Persistencias y cambios: Salta y el noroeste argentino, 1770–1840. Rosario, Argentina: Prohistoria & Manuel Suárez-Editor, 1999.
Poderti, Alicia. Palabra e historia en los Andes: La rebelión del inca Túpac Amaru y el noroeste argentino. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 1997.
Scobie, James R. Secondary Cities of Argentina: The Social History of Corrientes, Salta, and Mendoza, 1850–1910 (1988).
Vinuales, Graciela M. La ciudad de Salta y su región (Buenos Aires, 1983).
CÉsar N. Caviedes