Although it is considered too remote after the economic decline of Potosí and its silver industry, and with the Bolivian seat of government moving to La Paz in 1898, Sucre is still Bolivia's constitutional capital and seat of the Supreme Court. The city is named after Don Antonio José de Sucre, the great marshal of the Battle of Ayacucho (December 9, 1824).
The city has had three other names: Charcas was the indigenous name for the place upon which the Spaniards built the colonial city; La Plata was the name given in 1538 to the emerging Hispanic city of privilege and honour and Chuquisaca was the name bestowed upon it during the era leading to independence; that name lives on in that of the Department of which Sucre is the capital. Independence was declared here on 6 August 1825.
It was a very Spanish city during the colonial era, with its narrow streets in the city centre, reflecting the Andalusian culture embodied in the architecture of the city's great houses and many convents and churches. The cathedral dates from the 16th Century and the Iglesia de San Francisco, among others, reflects mudéjar influences. The city attracts thousands of tourists every year thanks to its well-conserved downtown with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a pleasant and quiet city of about 250,000 people at an altitude of 2,800 metres, with a nice temperate climate. It is about 166 kilometres to Potosí.