Sunday, April 12, 2015

Doce de Abril (April 12th)

When we first were planning to visit Cuenca two years ago, Stu was looking over our various reservations (airlines, hotel, etc) and started to panic that I had booked the wrong date for our hotel. We were flying out on April 15th and the hotel paperwork showed April 12th.

Well, not exactly. The hotel was located on the street named April 12th, our reservation was correct on April 15th. Once here we soon discovered that many streets are named after famous people (no surprise there) AND famous dates. Thus Doce de Abril....
458 years ago today, the city of Cuenca was founded by Gil Ramírez Dávalos. The viceroy of Lima, Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza, had ordered that it be named after his hometown of Cuenca, Spain. Cuenca was once a Cañari settlement called Guapondeleg, meaning "land as big as heaven". After the Incas conquered the Cañari people, the area was renamed Tumibamba (Tomebamba in Spanish). It was controlled by the palace at Pumapungo (see drawing). During the war between Atahualpa and his brother Huáscar for control of the Inca empire, the area was destroyed. There were plans to rebuild, but they never happened. So by the time the Spaniards arrived, all they found were ruins. 
{courtesy of David Sasaki, Ecuador Expats Facebook Group}

There has been a week long celebration with Friday and Saturday being the biggest. We have seen some of it but it's practically impossible to see it all.

Ciao for now!
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