History of Córdoba in Argentina

Colón Avenue, c. 1900.

Córdoba is a town in central Argentina, in the Sierras Chicas foothills on the Suquía River, about 435 mi ( 700 km) northwest of Bueno’s town. It is the Córdoba Region’s capital and the second-most populous city in Argentina after Buenos Aires, with about 1.5 million residents according to the 2019 census. It was established on 6 July 1573 by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera, who named it after Córdoba, Spain. It was one of the oldest Spanish colonial capitals of the province that is now Argentina (the oldest city is Santiago del Estero, established in 1553). The National University of Córdoba is indeed the oldest recognized university in the nation and the seventh to be launched in Spanish America. It was established in 1613 CE by the Jesuit Order. Because of this institution, Córdoba earned the nickname “the learned” (La Docta).

The first settlement of Córdoba

In 1570, Viceroy Francisco de Toledo counted on the Spanish settler Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera to find a settlement and populate in the Punilla Valley. Cabrera sent a team of 48 men to the Comechingones territory. He divided the central column that entered through the north of the provincial region at Villa María. The one hundred man team set foot on what today is Córdoba on the 24th of June in 1573 CE. Cabrera called the neighboring river San Juan (today Suquía). The settlement was formally established on the 6th of July of the same year and named Córdoba de la Nueva Andalucía, perhaps in honor of the founder’s wife’s ancestors, incipiently from Córdoba, Spain. The city’s foundation took place on the river’s left bank on Francisco de Torres’ suggestion.

Original inhabitants since time immemorial.

The settlement was populated by aboriginal people called Comechingones, who stayed in communities called Ayllus. After four years, having withstood attacks by the locals, the settlement’s officials moved it to the extreme opposite bank of the Suquía River in 1577 CE. The Lieutenant Governor at the time, Don Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, prepared the first layout of the city as a network of 70 blocks. Once the town’s core had been moved to its present location, it acquired a permanent population. Its economy flourished due to trade with the towns in the north.

In 1599 CE, the religious order of the Jesuits appeared in the settlement. They built a Novitiate in 1608 CE. In 1610 CE, the Colegio Maximo, which became the University of Córdoba in 1613 CE (present-day National University of Córdoba), one of the oldest in the Americas. The regional Jesuit Church remains one of the earliest buildings in South America and includes the Monserrat Secondary School, residential buildings, and a church. To manage such a project, the Jesuits operated five Reducciones in the neighboring fertile valleys, including Santa Catalina, Jesús María, Caroya, Candelaria, and Alta Gracia.

The complex and the farm, which began in 1615 CE, had to be relinquished by the Jesuits following the 1767 CE decree by King Charles III of Spain that ousted them from the continent. The Franciscans then ran them until 1853 CE, when the Jesuits returned to the Americas. Nevertheless, the high-school and the university were nationalized nearly a year later. Each Estancia has its church and bunch of buildings, around which cities grew, such as Alta Gracia.

Early European settlement

In 1776 CE, King Carlos III developed the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, in which Córdoba stays in 1785 CE as the Government Intendency of Córdoba, including the present territories of the provinces of La Rioja, Córdoba and the region of Cuyo.

According to the 1760 CE census, the population of the town was 22,000 inhabitants. During the May Revolution in 1810, the most distinguished citizens’ widespread opinion was of continuing respecting Fernando VII’s orders, the local authorities’ attitude, which led to the Liniers Counter-revolution. Dean Gregorio Funes did not share this position, who was adhering to the radical ideas, besides maintaining contact with Juan José Castelli and Manuel Belgrano.

Contemporary history

At the end of the 19th century, national industrialization started with the height of the economic agro-exporting model, principally of cereals and meats. This process is connected with the European immigrants who began to settle the city, generally possessing the enterprising capacity and education appropriate for industry development. The bulk of these European immigrants came from Italy (initially from Veneto, Piedmont, and Lombardy; later from Calabria and Campania), and Spain (mostly Basques and Galicians)

At the start of the 20th century, the city had just under 100,000 inhabitants. The town’s physiognomy changed dramatically following the construction of new walks, avenues, and clean public squares, as well as the establishment of an electrified tram system in 1909 CE.

Was it worth reading? Let us know.