An early morning mass at the cathedral and a student parade on Calle Simon Bolivar highlight today’s commemoration of Cuenca’s Spanish founding 460 years ago.
Officially, La Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca, was established April 12, 1557 by Captain Gil Ramirez Dávalos, Viceroy of Peru. He chose the name, he said, because the location, with its bluffs overlooking the Rio Tomebamba, reminded him of his hometown of Cuenca, Spain.
Historians point out that Cuenca has been continuously inhabited for several thousand years. Under Cañari rule for more than a thousand years, it was known as Guapondélig. During the 50 years of Inca domination, it was Tomebamba.
The foundation mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Marcos Pérez at 8 a.m. followed by a flower offering and short service at the Abdón Calderón statue in Parque Calderon.
This year’s anniversary coincides with Holy Week, making it a four-day holiday weekend.
“Wednesday, we will have many civic events in honor of the city,” said assistant Cuenca Mayor Ruth Caldas. “The agenda includes all the events that will take place through the weekend, including, fairs, art shows, and concerts,” she said.
This morning’s annual student parade begins at 10 at the San Blas Plaza and continues along Simon Bolivar to Parque Calderon.
Other events today include the official signing of the contract to reconstruct San Francisco Plaza at 10:30 a.m. at the Pasaje León; a health and food fair and other activities at the Doce de Abril market on Calle Larga; and a performance tonight at 8 by the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra in the Santo Domingo church.
The full list of events is available in the April agenda, available at iTur offices and at local restaurants and hotels. Events are also listed on the Cuenca municipal website.