Barquisimeto: Wikis


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Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto


Nickname(s): "Capital musical de Venezuela" (English: " Musical capital of Venezuela) " " Ciudad Crepuscular"
Iribarren Municipality in Lara State
Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto is located in Venezuela
Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto
Iribarren Municipality in Lara State
Coordinates: 10°03′49″N 69°20′05″W / 10.06361°N 69.33472°W / 10.06361; -69.33472
Country Venezuela
State Lara
Municipality Iribarren
Founded 1563
 - Mayor Amalia Saez (PSUV)
 - Total 2,760 km2 (1,065.6 sq mi)
Elevation 566 m (1,857 ft)
Population (2007)
 - Total 1.500.000
 - Density 324.6/km2 (840.7/sq mi)
 - Demonym Barquisimetano(a)
Time zone VST (UTC-4:30)
 - Summer (DST) not observed (UTC-4:30)
Postal code 3001
Area code(s) 0251
Website (Spanish)
The area and population figures are for the municipality

Coordinates: 10°3′50″N 69°20′05″W / 10.06389°N 69.33472°W / 10.06389; -69.33472

Barquisimeto is the capital city of the State of Lara located in west central Venezuela, halfway between Caracas and Maracaibo on the Turbio River.



The city has strong agricultural/industrial roots, being surrounded by a sugar cane valley and located near two of the largest vegetable-producing regions in Venezuela: the Valle de Quíbor (Quíbor Valley) and Sanare.

Founded by Don Juan de Villegas in 1552 and named Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto, the city was moved several times before 1563, when the town finally settled in its present location. Today Barquisimeto is a modern city, the fourth most populated in the country, and is situated in the middle of Venezuela's west-central axis of communication, industry and agriculture.

Two well-known landmarks in Barquisimeto are the obelisk, called El Obelisco (which is actually flat on top not making it a true obelisk), raised to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Barquisimeto's founding, and the Cathedral, which looks like an inverted orchid with a cross-like tinted glass dome, with a modern architecture not often found in Latin America. The building was designed in 1959 by Jan Bergkamp and finished in 1969.

Each January, a massive procession accompanies the Divina Pastora (Divine Shepherdess), a mobile statue of the Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus and a sheep, in its trip from the nearby town of Santa Rosa to the Cathedral.

The streets of downtown Barquisimeto are going through some major construction due to the implementation of a trolley-car system that will connect the whole city, making a more efficient public transportation system. This new public transportation is named Transbarca and is expected to be completed by 2010.

General aspects

Past and present

Founded by Don Juan de Villegas in 1552 under the name of Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto, the city was renamed and moved several times before its permanent establishment in 1563. Barquisimeto is now a modern city, with the fourth largest number of inhabitants of all Venezuelan cities. It is important as a center of communications, agriculture and industries, of the central and western part of the country. In Barquisimeto, as in most Venezuelan cities, there is an interesting mix of colonial and modern architecture. A notable example of the latter is the Cathedral, which was designed by the architect John Bergcamp. The city has varied museums, of subjects like: History, Archaeology, Paleontology, and one about the city. This last was inaugurated in 1983 in the old site of the Hospital La Caridad. In its ten rooms, the works of artists of the region can be observed, as well as exhibitions of collections and works from other museums. The city is considered the musical capital of Venezuela.


Barquisimeto is located on plateau, 556 meters above sea level, with an average temperature of 26°C (79°F) throughout the year, and a population that exceeds the 800,000 inhabitants. Barquisimeto is centrally located within the country, but poor interstate highways and tolls every 110 kilometers (70 miles) or so make the trip from Barquisimeto to Caracas difficult to complete in less than four and a half hours, even though it is only about 360 kilometers (224 miles) away.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F 83 84 86 85 84 82 83 83 84 84 84 82 84
Avg low °F 67 68 69 71 71 70 69 70 70 70 70 69 70
Avg high °C 28 28 30 29 28 27 28 28 28 28 28 27 28
Avg low °C 19 20 20 21 21 21 20 21 21 21 21 20 21
Source: Weatherbase

Law and government

Barquisimeto has one municipality: Iribarren Municipality. Venezuelan law specifies that municipal governments have four main functions: executive, legislative, comptroller, and planning. The executive function is managed by the mayor, who is in charge of representing the municipality's administration. The legislative branch is represented by the Municipal Council, composed of seven councillors, charged with the deliberation of new decrees and local laws. The comptroller tasks are managed by the municipal comptroller's office, which oversees accountancy. Finally, planning is represented by the Local Public Planning Council, which manages development projects for the municipality.


The economic potential of the city is tied to the small, medium and large industry, that has access to regional and national markets, with a great perspective of internationalization thanks to its convenient access to the sea by rail via Puerto Cabello. The food trade is the city's main commercial activity, thanks to its advantageous geographic location which generates an influence area (hinterland) that covers near 6 million inhabitants. In addition of the food industry, plastics, textiles, paper, dairy, farming and automotive industry, represents the main industries of the city.

Colleges and universities

East zone of Barquisimeto

Barquisimeto hosts a big number of universities and institutes, that has originated a great student population, not just locals but from other regions of Venezuela. Its geographic location, the hospitality of its people and the socioeconomic conditions, have motivated the migration of many young people to the city in search of academic progress, thus making Barquisimeto one of the cities with the highest educational development in Venezuela:

Because of poor educational infrastructure in the poorer small cities and villages around Barquisimeto, academically gifted youth flock to the city and, due to lack of opportunities in the outlying regions, rarely return. This phenomenon occurs in other major cities throughout the country.

Lisandro Alvarado Centreal-Western University

(Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado) or UCLA (Not to be confused with Southern California's University of California, Los Angeles, is a public institution with seat in Barquisimeto, created on September 22, 1962, under the government of Romulo Betancourt, under the name of Experimental Center for Superior Studies, it began with four schools: medicine, agronomy, veterinary and administration. In 1967, the name was changed to Central-Western University, continuing the educational and administrative activities of the Experimental Center of Superior Studies. On April 2, 1979, The Venezuelan government renamed the organization Lisandro Alvarado Central-Western University.

Antonio José de Sucre National Experimental Polytechnic University

(Universidad Nacional Experimental Politécnica Antonio José de Sucre) or UNEXPO, is a public institution, with a small campus in Carora. The history of the University begins with the proposal from the UNESCO to the Venezuelan government, to install a Technological Institute in the country, offering technical attendance, and resources. Three cities were interested in the offer, Caracas, Valencia and Barquisimeto, being chosen the last one like principal seat, thanks to the campaign made by the Society of Friends of Barquisimeto, with the support of the Lara state government and the mass media. On September 22, 1962, is founded the Superior Polytechnic Institute, with main seat in Barquisimeto, and on February 20, 1979, the Antonio José de Sucre National Experimental Polytechnic University is created, the institutes of Barquisimeto, Caracas and Puerto Ordaz, happened to integrate this university of high hierarchy in the national technology. By a lamentable decision of the national government, through Decree Number 68, on April 19, 1979, it countermanded the creation of the University. Twelve years later, on February 14, 1991, the Venezuelan court, countermanded Decree Number 68, and consequently restituted the University.

Other universities


The system more commonly used, are the “rapiditos”, old automobiles with capacity for 5 persons, with a route similar to the buses and used mainly to shuttle people between downtown and the suburbs, like the shared cabs in other countries. The Transbarca Trolleybus System, is the new mass transport system of the city, it is planned to mobilize an average of 170,000 people by day, with 80 electrical units, crosses 30 km (18,6 miles) of exclusive route, in the Metropolitan Area of the city, and will also include an express route of 22 km (13,64 miles) and one commercial route of 8 km (4,96 miles). With 52 stations, the Trolleybus will count a centralized system of communication and security, and structures for easy access for third age and disability people. Also, it has 18 electrical substations. It has a mechanism of collection of passage and a gratuitous system of communication for the communities. Barquisimeto in 2006 has the most organized bus system of Venezuela. It is also complemented with feeding routes, that cover the areas of Greater Barquisimeto the trolleybus does not serve; these routes have stations adjoined or near the ones of the Transbarca system—.

  • Buses are the main means of mass transportation, the system runs a variety of bus types, operated by several companies on normal streets and avenues:
  • bus; large buses.
  • buseta; medium size buses.
  • microbus or colectivo; vans or minivans.
  • rapiditos; old automobiles with capacity for 5 persons.

Anyone unfamiliar to Barquisimeto and its transportation should know that it can be potentially dangerous due to being targeted by petty, but armed, thieves. Pretty much anyone who uses public transportation in the region has encountered an instance of robbery on a "rapidito" or even bus highjacking. If one complies with the requests of the robbers they usually are nice enough to just take your valuables and drop you off far from any crowded location. Although this is the case, incidents of interstate kidnappings are not uncommon. People with nice cars or a wealthy appearance are usually targeted.

The airport called Jacinto Lara International Airport


View of the Estadio Metropolitano de Fútbol de Barquisimeto

The city counts, with notably football and baseball teams. Several other sports also have Barquisimeto as their home.

  • Cardenales de Lara: (English: Lara Cardinals) is a baseball team in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. Founded in 1942 and based in Barquisimeto, the Cardenales have won four domestic titles, the most recent in 2001, have like seat the Don Antonio Herrera Gutiérrez stadium, with a capacity of 20,450 spectators. The fanatism to this team is so big that, when they win the finals, next day is holiday in all Lara state.

Guaros de Lara: is a basketball team in the Venezuelan Professional Basketball League. Founded in 1983 under the name of Bravos de Portuguesa, with seat in the cities of Acarigua and Araure, in 1992 the team is transferred to Barquisimeto, like Malteros de Lara, in 1995 adopts the name of Bravos de Lara. Since 2005 the team changes to its present name, Guaros de Lara, it have like seat the Domo Bolivariano, an indoor sporting arena, the capacity of the arena is of 10,000 spectators.

Sports teams

Sites of interest

Barquisimeto obelisk

Barquisimeto Athenaeum

On October 8, 1986, this Athenaeum was created by a group of cultural promoters, poets, writers, educators and sociocultural workers. This institute was created under the fundamental principle, for the rescue of the traditions and customs of the city, so that can be constituted a legacy for future generations, and thus to reinforce the culture of Barquisimeto.

The obelisk

This is the symbol of Barquisimeto, created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city. Constructed in 1952 by the engineer Rafael Jose Raga, it is a concrete and steel structure of 75 meters of height, provided with an elevator. The elevator, however, has been out of use for years and the front entrance of the "Obelisk" (which is so in name only since it is flat on top) is used to store materials lying around the grounds surrounding.

Barquisimeto Museum

This structure dates from 1579, when the “San Lazaro” Hospital worked. Later in 1877, it was reconstructed to be La Caridad hospital. Finally, in 1939, the Hospital was named “Antonio Maria Pineda”, and moves to another seat, being this building empty, working years later like the Barquisimeto Museum.

Juárez Theater

This theater is located in the center of the city, was inaugurated in 1905, with the name of Municipal Theater, and was reconstructed almost totally for the four hundred years of Barquisimeto, it has been witness of the growth and history of this population. By its scenes, past a great number of artists, of diverse sorts: dance, song, ballet and theater, among others. It has a special attractive for the tourists, by its structure, and the different cultural manifestations of the city and the country, that are represented there. This theater was the first of the Lara state.

Divina Pastora

The Divina Pastora (Divine Shepherdess), a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus and a sheep, is one of the most important religious icons of Venezuela. It is the local representation of the Virgin and the patron saint of the city and of the Venezuelan National Militia.[1]

Each January 14, the statue is carried by 6 to 10 men, accompanied by a procession of more than 2 million people, some barefoot and carrying crosses, from the Church of Santa Rosa, in the village of Santa Rosa near the city, to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Barquisimeto.[2] On its return trip, it stops at other churches in Barquisimeto, arriving back in Santa Rosa in time for Palm Sunday. According to the history books, this tradition comes from Seville, Spain. A Capuchin friar, Isidore of Seville, had a dream in which he saw an image of the Divina Pastora. Days later, he gave to the artist Miguel Alonso de Tovar, a detailed description of his vision, so that he could paint it. The painting of the virgin with pastoral hat, covered by a blue mantle, holding a boy in her left hand and a lamb in her right one, was called "Divina Pastora de Almas". Later, the sculptor Francisco Antonio Gijón, made a life-sized sculpture of the Divina Pastora, which was carried in its first procession in 1705.

The popular legend of the Divina Pastora in Venezuela, dates from 1736, when the parish priest of the town of Santa Rosa commissioned a sculptor to make a statue of the Immaculate Conception. Unexpectedly, the figure that was delivered was of the Divina Pastora. The priest wanted to return it, but the packing crate could not be lifted. The whole town took this as a sign that the statue wanted to remain in Santa Rosa.[1] In 1855 the status of the Divina Pastora as the patron saint of the Venezuelan state of Lara was further established, when a cholera epidemic occurred, striking a great number of families in Barquisimeto. Desperate, they implored the Divina Pastora for help. It is said that Father Jose Macario Yépez, parish priest of the La Concepción church of Barquisimeto, offered himself before the Virgin, to be the last victim of the disease. Some accounts say that the priest died six months later and that the epidemic then left the city; others indicate that his implorations stopped the epidemic immediately .

The January 14 procession commemorates this event. It is a festive occasion, with countless street vendors selling anything from food to liquor and small religious figurines along the route that snakes through the city.

See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

South America : Venezuela : Barquisimeto

Barquisimeto is a city in Venezuela.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BARQUISIMETO, a city of western Venezuela, capital of the state of Lara, on the Barquisimeto river, 101 m. by rail S.W. of Tucacas, its port on the Caribbean coast. Pop. (est. 1899) 40,000. It is built in a small, fertile valley of the Merida Cordilleras, 1985 ft. above sea-level, has a temperate, healthy climate with a mean annual temperature of 78° F., and is surrounded by a highly productive country from which are exported coffee, sugar, cacao and rum. It is also an important distributing centre for neighbouring districts. The city is the seat of a bishopric, is regularly laid out and well built, and is well provided with educational and charitable institutions. Barquisimeto was founded in 1522 by Juan de Villegas, who was exploring the neighbourhood for gold, and it was first called Nueva Segovia after his native city. In 1807 its population had risen to 15,000, principally through its commercial importance, but on the 26th of March 1812 it was totally destroyed by an earthquake, and with it 1500 lives, including a part of the revolutionary forces occupying the town. It was soon rebuilt and is one of the few cities of Venezuela which have recovered from the ravages of the war of independence and subsequent disorders.

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