Paraguay’s capital city, Asuncion, is the largest city in Paraguay. It’s also one of South America’s oldest cities. Founded in 1537, Asuncion became known as the Mother of Cities. It was from this city that many colonial expeditions departed to explore and establish many other cities.
Asuncion has served as a gateway for Paraguay’s trade for centuries. Situated along the Paraguay River, the Port of Asuncion has a river terminal that serves as the transportation route for most of the freight entering or leaving the country. Although the port was privately owned originally, it’s been government owned and managed since 1940.
The city still displays a definite colonial aspect with colorful patios, and red tiled roofs. From the rivers east bank, the city spans out into gentle hills that look like large rectangular blocks overlooking the bay. And, beautiful flowering trees, native fauna and relaxing gardens are spread throughout the city.
Asuncion is a charming mix of old and new architecture. Many beautiful old colonial buildings are still standing as a reminder of the cities long history. And, are intertwined with high rise buildings and modern day shopping centers. But, there are also many colonial buildings that have been neglected and now sit in ruin.
Paraguay’s population is around 6 million people and about 30 percent of those people, live in Greater Asuncion or very close by. For several years now, Mercer Herman Resource Consulting has ranked Asuncion as the least expensive city in which to live. Over the last few decades, the cities population grew due to an economic boom, then later, more people migrated to the city as a result of recession in the countrysides.
Since 1982, the number of schools in the capital city has doubled, including both private and public institutions. And, there are also several universities including Catholic and state ran facilities. There are even several smaller universities that are privately ran.
Due to it’s strategic location, Asuncion has been the center of Paraguay’s economic activity since it was founded. While being the location of a principal port in the country contributes much to the economy, being the home of all of the national governing bodies and industrial activities makes the city an even more important economic contributor.
Asuncion is also the cultural center of Paraguay, with several museums, theaters, cathedrals and various artisan shops and shopping malls. The city also offers an exciting nightlife, with an entire strip that is full of various nightclubs and bars.