I. A W. Department Of Bolivia

A W. Department Of Bolivia, occupying a large proportion of the great plain of its own name, sometimes also called the valley of the Desaguadero, bordering on Peru; area, 21,600 sq. m.; pop. about 112,000. It lies between the eastern and western Cordilleras of the Andes, but no appearance of volcanic action is anywhere presented, and the department is never visited by earthquakes. The face of the country is generally undulating. It is drained by the river Desaguadero, which is the only outlet of Lake Titicaca, and flows into Lake Aullagas in this department, which has no visible issue. The silver mines of the Cerro de Oruro, of El Turco in the province of Carangas, and of Popo have long been celebrated for their abundant yield. Gold is also found. The tin mines of this department are among the richest in the world; and large quantities of rock salt have been exported from Carangas and Curahuara. On this great plateau, notwithstanding a mean elevation of 13,340 ft. above the sea, extremes of heat and cold are rare; but violent tempests are frequent during the wet season, from November to April. The chief agricultural products are potatoes and quinoa, a common substitute for them. Barley and wheat do not ripen here, but are cut for forage.

In the more sheltered valleys fruits are plentiful, the vine thrives, and very good wine is made. Guanacos, alpacas, llamas, and vicunas everywhere abound, and there are numerous cattle and sheep in Carangas. The department is divided into the provinces of Oruro, Popó or Poopó, Carangas, and Porco.

II. A Fortified City

A Fortified City, the capital and only important town of the department, in a valley about 27 m. long, about 200 m. N. W. of Sucre. It has regular streets, but the houses, once among the finest in the republic, are now much dilapidated. The only public edifices of importance are nine churches, the town hall, and barracks. Agriculture, mining, and the manufacture of coarse woollens and cheese are the chief occupations. Oruro was founded in 1590, and called San Felipe de Austria. The seat of the executive government of Bolivia was transferred thither in 1869 from La Paz; and a railway to Tarapacį in Peru was contracted for in 1872.