Asunción


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Asunción

(äso͞onsyō`n), city (1992 pop. 500,938), S Paraguay, capital of Paraguay, on the Paraguay River. It is the principal port and chief industrial and cultural center of Paraguay. Manufactures include footwear, textiles, and tobacco products. From the east bank of the river, the city spreads out on gentle hills in a pattern of rectangular blocks. Asunción is one of the oldest cities in South America and has a decidedly colonial aspect, enhanced by red-tiled roofs, colorful patios, and flowering trees. Its outstanding structures are the government buildings, the Godoi Museum, the Church of La Encarnación, and the Panteón Nacional, a smaller version of Les Invalides in Paris, where many of the nation's heroes are entombed. The city's botanical gardens are notable. The site of the city may have been visited by the conquistador Juan de Ayolas, but the town, called Nuestra Señora de la Asunción [Our Lady of the Assumption], was founded in Aug., 1536 or 1537, by Juan de Salazar and Gonzalo de Mendoza. It became a trading post on the route to Peru and flourished under the governorship of Domingo Martínez de Irala, who founded there the first cabildo in South America. As the most important town in the Río de la Plata region, Asunción became the center of the Jesuits' activities in converting the indigenous population. The city developed further under the great Creole governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra (first elected 1592). In 1731 the uprising of comuneros under José de Antequera y Castro was one of the first major rebellions against Spanish colonial rule. The eminence of Asunción was ended by the growth of Buenos Aires, which was separated from Asunción's jurisdiction in 1617. After the War of the Triple Alliance (1865–70), Asunción was occupied by Brazilian troops until 1876. The National Univ. and several colleges are in the city.

Asunción

 

a city and the capital of Paraguay, situated on the left bank of the Paraguay River at its confluence with the Pilcomayo River. It has a population of 305,000 (1962), which is more than one-sixth of the entire population of Paraguay. Asunción is the country’s chief inland and foreign-trade port, handling 75 percent of all exports and 90 percent of all imports. There are a railroad station, enterprises for processing wood and agricultural products (including food, textiles, and leather), and a shipyard. A national university is located in the city.

The city’s planning and architecture retain features of the Spanish colonial period. Asunción was founded by the Spanish conquistadors on Aug. 15, 1537, Ascension Day (hence the city’s name, Spanish for Ascension). It was a base for the Spanish conquistadors on their way to Peru and served as the center of the Spanish colonies in the area of La Plata until the beginning of the 17th century. In May 1811 the independence of Paraguay was proclaimed in Asunción. In January 1869, during the Paraguayan War of 1864–70, Asuncion was occupied by Brazilian troops, and as a result, about two-thirds of the city’s inhabitants perished. In the early 20th century, Asunción began to turn into the center of the country’s workers’ movement. The largest demonstrations took place in 1941, 1944, and 1959.