Mendoza

Universities: 9
Students: 68.669 (graduate) / 6.092 (postgraduate)
Inhabitants: Mendoza city (114.822 hab.) / Gran Mendoza (1.086.066 hab.)- Source: 2010 Census

The city of Mendoza, in western Argentina, is located on the plains to the east of the Andes mountain range, and is the capital of the province of Mendoza. This is one of Argentina’s main cities and, together with its greater metropolitan area known as Greater Mendoza, has a total population of over one million, with an area of 57 km² and a metropolitan area of 168 km².

Mendoza is a major industrial hub, and one of strategic importance for Mercosur relations. As its economic activity is mainly linked to the commerce, tourism and services around the wine industry, Mendoza is known as an International Wine Capital.

Mendoza owes its cosmopolitan feel to its mainly Italian and Spanish migrant roots, but the city also welcomed communities of Arabs, Jews, Germans and French over the course of the early 20th century. Architecturally, Mendoza’s European influence is clear to see in its broad tree-lined avenues and open plazas. Today, immigrants come mostly from countries in the region, such as Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru. As a result of this cultural mix, the city boasts a range of cultural offerings and a vibrant nightlife; it is the quintessential tourist city and a prominent university hub.

Mendoza could soon become the second largest city in Argentina. Its population is increasing at a yearly rate of 2%, higher than that of the country’s other large cities, Córdoba and Rosario.

Mendoza was founded on 2 March 1561, by Spanish conquistador Pedro del Castillo, and was given the name “City of Mendoza of the New Valley of La Rioja.” It was initially located in what is currently known as “La Media Luna,” in the district of Pedro Molina, in the department of Guaymallén, along the east bank of the canal known today as “Cacique Guaymallén.” On 28 March 1562, another conquistador, Juan Jufré, led a move to re-found the city in a location to the west of the Pedro del Castillo site. Mendoza was therefore reborn a few metres to the west of the Cacique Guaymallén canal.