Villarrica, Paraguay - Polarsteps
Villarrica, Paraguay, has a population of 52,000 and was founded in 1570. When the city was founded the name was Villa Rica del Espíritu Santo (Villa Rica of the Holy Spirit). It has also been known as the "wandering city".
The city was founded by Ruy Díaz de Melgarejo after leaving the town of Ciudad Real with 40 men and 53 horses. They headed east to an area where he expected they would find riches of gold and silver. In May 1570, he found an area he liked and founded the town. But, the town was being attacked by other groups of people, so he relocated it, six times! He moved the city in 1592, 1599, 1632, 1642, 1678, 1682. In May 1701, the town was officially settled and founded with the help of Franciscan missionaries.
So, my impressions: Villarrica has a lot of old architecture from the Colonial period, the 1800s. The town has two plazas, a couple of blocks apart, with businesses built around them, then the central business district spreads out around there and then there are the residential neighborhoods around the city center. I like this layout for a town, it makes for a town that is easy to walk through. The town is quite nice, a very pleasant place to visit. There are all the necessary stores and large grocery stores, building supply stores, hardware stores, etc, etc, and several hospitals. The town is almost flat as a pancake and has many cobblestone roads in the residential neighborhoods, so for cyclists (of which I saw none) it probably isn't a very pleasant place for riding. Will I be adding this town to my top-10 list? No.
My South America Journey