San Juan, Argentina

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San Juan, Argentina

San Juan, capital city (112,778 inhabitants in 2001) of the province of the same name in western Argentina (population over 450,000). The city of San Juan de la Frontera was founded in 1562 by Captain Juan de Jofré under orders from Francisco de Villagra, governor of Chile, and moved to its present location in 1593 to avoid the floods caused by the high waters of the San Juan River. In 1776 it passed to the Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata, and in 1813 it joined Mendoza and San Luis in the intendancy of Cuyo. After the repulsion of the British invasions of Buenos Aires in 1806 and 1807, English prisoners were interned in San Juan, and several decided to settle there. The city is known as the birthplace of the political leader and future president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, who depicted it in many of his writings. After the passage of laws encouraging foreign immigration in 1860, there was a great influx of Italian and German families, who planted vineyards in the area. The city was destroyed by several earthquakes, the most damaging being those of 1894 and 1944. Clean, hospitable, and progressive, San Juan is a showcase of the agricultural development achieved by western Argentina under European colonization.

See alsoArgentina, Geography .


López, Celia. Con la cruz y con el dinero: Los Jesuitas del San Juan colonial. San Juan, Argentina: Universidad Nacional de San Juan, 2001.

Sarmiento, Domingo F. Mi vida. 2 Vols. Buenos Aires: Angel Estrada, 1938. See especially Vol. 1, pp. 3-54.

Sarmiento, Domingo F. Recuerdos de provincia. Edited by Jorge Luís Borges. Buenos Aires: Emecé Editores, 1998.

                                      CÉsar N. Caviedes

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San Juan, Argentina

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