Salta is a city located in the Lerma Valley, at 1,152 metres (3780 feet) above sea level in the north west part of Argentina and it is also the name for the capital city of the Salta Province. Along with its metropolitan area, it has a population of 619,000 inhabitants, which makes it the second most populated city in the northwest of the country.
(From top to bottom; from left to right) View of the city from top of San Bernardo Hill; Colonial Cabildo; Cathedral of Salta; Ninth of July Plaza and the Victoria Theatre.
During the war of independence, the city became a commercial and military strategic point between Perú and the Argentine cities. Between 1816 and 1821, the city was led by local military leader General Martín Miguel de Güemes, who under the command of General José de San Martín, defended the city and surrounding area from Spanish forces coming from further north.
Salta emerged from the War of Independence politically in disarray and financially bankrupt, a condition that lingered throughout much of the 19th century. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the arrival of Italian, Spanish andArab immigrants, particularly Syrians and Lebanese, revived trade and agriculture all over the area while further enhancing the city's multicultural flavor.
Salta residents, like most Argentines, are very enthusiastic about soccer. The most important local clubs are Juventud Antoniana, Gimnasia y Tiro de Salta, and Central Norte; many faithful fans follow each. Juventud Antoniana, Gimnasia y Tiro and Central Norte currently play in the third national division.
Other locally popular sports include baseball (a game in which Salta players excel nationally), basketball, volleyball, rugby, and mountaineering.
The main sporting venue in Salta is the Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium; the Gimnasia y Tiro and Juventud Antoniana stadiums also see many athletic matches. The largest roofed facility in the city is the Ciudad de Salta Stadium, chiefly used for basketball, volleyball, and boxing.
Over the last twenty years, Salta has played host to such high-profile international sporting events as the 1990 Basketball World Cup, the 1994 Camel Trophy, the 2002 Volleyball World Cup, and the 2009 Hockey Champions Challenge. TheArgentina national rugby union team, the "Pumas", have played in Salta against Italy (2005)and England (2009),(2013). Top football clubs, including Boca Juniors, River Plate and Racing, have played friendly games in Salta in summer, off-season matches.