It only counts now 1 million people, being nevertheless the most important city of this proud south american country. The city of Asuncion means a quarter of Paraguay! Its name means in English Assumption, and has even a nickname, the mother of all cities. The historic truth is, that the spanish conquistadores founded first of any other city in South America Asuncion, and after that came Buenos Aires e.g. During the colonial Middle Age Asuncion was a capital of all the spanish South America.
In some part of Asuncion you can still feel in the colonial times, which makes this city unique. You can sit in one of the many city’s chic cafes and enjoy the local ierba mathe, which is much more appealing than a classic coffee or tea.
After gaining independence in 1811 Asuncion flourished again, becoming a very important south american city. But unfortunately the devastating war of 1836 and the brazilian occupation destroyed almost totally Asuncion and two thirds of the paraguayan population died.
But Paraguay recovered, and also did Asuncion. Asuncion is the country’s most important administrative and economic city. It is first of all the country’s most important port on Paraguay river. It is a very active city in some neighbourhoods, despite the terible subtropical weather, unbearable from november to march.
Because ot this terible weather, you can go shopping, as Asuncion is a shopping paradise. You can make your shopping in the boutiques from the old town, or in a huge mall. Asuncion has plenty of malls, but you must bear in mind this: on weekends the malls are overcrowded, and small accident lead through panic to real tragedies. It hapened in 2004 when a fire in a supermarket led to 500 victims. So, please, avoid the Asuncion supermarkets on weekends.
In the small boutiques you can find the ideal souvenirs from your Asuncion travel: craftmanship. Ask about nantori, for example. Some pieces are similar with what you can find in Argentina, even more genuine and much more cheaper.
I have another tip for your Asuncion vacation: avoid driving in Asuncion. It is tough, almost imposible even for the local guarani. The streets are overcrowded and mostly one way, but no one respects the regulations, and this fact leads to chaos! And you don’t want to ruin your Asuncion vacation because of that, or because the local police!
Asuncion is also a cultural city. There are theaters, ballet, opera and philarmonic orchestra in the city. You can also admire the colonial or belle epoque architecture in some corners of the picturesque downtown Asuncion. Or you can visit the Asuncion museums (Pantheon, Godoi Museum, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Centro Cultural Manzana de la Rivera) or the impressive Iglesia de la Reincarnacion ( the Resurection Church).
There are many atractions in Asuncion, which is warmly waiting for you.
if not, come back tomorrow on journeyetc.com and see what's new :)