This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (February 2008)
|San Pedro de Riobamba|
|Founded||August 15, 1534|
|Founded by||Diego de Almagro|
|o Mayor||Napoleon Cadena|
|o City||59.05 km2 (22.80 sq mi)|
|o Metro||982.69 km2 (379.42 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,754 m (9,035 ft)|
|o Density||2,700/km2 (6,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (ECT)|
Riobamba (Spanish pronunciation: [rjo'?amba], full name San Pedro de Riobamba) is the capital of the Chimborazo Province in central Ecuador, which is located at the Chambo River Valley of the Andes. It is 200 km (120 mi) south of Ecuador's capital Quito and located at 2,754 m on the Avenue of the Volcanoes. The city is an important regional transport center as well as being a stop on the Pan-American Highway that runs through Ecuador. Riobamba stands as one of the largest cities in the central portion of Ecuador's Sierra region.
The region surrounding Riobamba was inhabited by the Puruhá nation before the advance of the Incas during the late 15th century. The Puruhas presented a fierce resistance to the Inca intentions of conquering the north of today's Ecuador, and therefore obliged the Inca Huayna Capac to find an alliance in order to pacify the tribes who sided with Condorazo, the general of the Puruha nation. This alliance sealed the peace between the Shyris confederation, named by the Jesuit historian Juan de Velasco to the group of tribes whose ruler were the Duchicela dynasty, and the Inca Empire. The Inca Huayna Capac took as his wife the princess Paccha and gave special treatment and social status privileges to the higher castes of the new subjects. The offspring of this dynastic relation was Atahualpa, the last king of the Incas.
On 15 August 1534, the city was founded in the San Miguel plains by Diego de Almagro, becoming the first city in modern-day Ecuador to be established.:341 In 1563, the city became part of the Spanish Empire's newly formed Royal Audience of Quito. The city was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1797, but rebuilt a few years later 14 km (8.7 mi) away from its original location (near a village named Cajabamba on the plains of San Antonio de Aguíscate). The city still retains much architecture from the Spanish period.
In the Ecuadorian War of Independence Riobamba first declared independence on November 11, 1820 but was soon retaken. The city finally became part of an independent Gran Colombia in 1822, and then a separate Republic of Ecuador in 1830.
On 20 November 2002, 7 people were killed and hundreds wounded when an explosion in the munitions depot at the Galapagos Brigade arsenal in Riobamba set off a series of blasts. Such was the force of the explosion that many residents said their initial reaction was that there had been an earthquake or volcanic eruption. Windows were blown out more than 1.5 kilometres from the arsenal, and many of the injured suffered lacerations from flying shards of glass.
According to Colonel Arturo Cadena, a military spokesman in Quito, the initial explosion occurred during maintenance work inside the dump. In April 2003, the army published its final report into the explosion. The report holds the Santa Barbara munitions factory directly responsible for the explosion, which the army is calling an accident.
Riobamba is located in the center of the country in the sierra region, in close proximity to the Chimborazo volcano. Like many cities in Ecuador, Riobamba has a near constant temperature year-round, with a wet and dry season. Its altitude (2754 m) and closeness to Chimborazo give the city a cool climate year-round, with temperatures averaging between 23 °C and 14 °C.
The economy of the city mainly focuses on the agricultural production of the surrounding local populations. Besides this, Riobamba has an open-air market where indigenous artisans display their wares, where people can find manufactured products as textiles, handicrafts, leather goods, beer, and dairy products. Riobamba is also an important trade center of cattle-ranching.
Universities include Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo, Escuela Superior Politecnica de Chimborazo, Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and Instituto Tecnologico superior Isabel de Godin.
Riobamba is a mid-level city in Ecuador, and the 10th largest in terms of population. It is the urban center of the Riobamba canton, with a historic center that has a number of well-preserved churches.
The main celebration in Riobamba is Fiesta del Niño Rey de Reyes, which starts in December and ends on January 6. Another celebration is Riobamba's Independence Day on 21 April.
This museum has a gem-encrusted gold monstrance. The art encased in this religious collection is comes from the 18th century. entry.
Was a private museum with ancient art, archaeological pieces, documents and possessions of the Cordoba Roman's family. The collection was donated to Riobamba municipality.
It exhibits a wide selection of uniforms, arms as well as religious materials which depict various epochs of Ecuador's history, located on Ave. Héroes de Tapi.
Riobamba is the trekking and mountain climbing capital of Ecuador and is a base to climb Carihuairazo, Chimborazo, Sangay, El Altar, and the Lost Pyramid of Puñay. There is a ball game in Riobamba called "the mamona", which is played with a leather ball. It is usually played by the locals all afternoons at the Plaza Roja. Mountain biking is another common sport. Swimming can be practiced in CENAEST, where temperate swimming pools and Spa attract many tourists. Cockfights are usually seen during Riobamba's festivities and on weekends at the Gallera San Francisco. Riobamba is the home city of one top-level football club, Centro Deportivo Olmedo.
The train ride (Nariz Del Diablo) from Riobamba is extremely scenic, the highlight being the Devil's Nose and Alausí round trip, with zig-zags. The train departs from Riobamba's main station on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 07:00, arriving in Alausí around 10:00-10:30, hits Sibambe about 11:30-12:00 and regresses back to Alausí around 13:30-14:00. The costs of the former journey is around US$20 for foreigners while round trip from Alausí is US$15. Before 2009 passengers were permitted to sit on the roof. However, this practice was prohibited in 2009 for safety reasons.
Luis Costales monument