HUANCAVELICA, a city of central Peru and capital of a department, 160 m. S.E. of Lima. The city stands in a deep ravine of the Andes at an elevation of about 12,400 ft. above the sea, the ravine having an average width of i m. Pop. (1906 estimate) 6000. The city is solidly and regularly built, the houses being of stone and the stream that flows through the town being spanned by several stone bridges. Near Huancavelica is the famous quicksilver mine of Santa Barbara, with its subterranean church of San Rosario, hewn from the native cinnabar-bearing rock. Huancavelica was founded by Viceroy Francisco de Toledo in 1572 as a mining town, and mining continues to be the principal occupation of its inhabitants. The department is traversed by tte Cordillera Occidental, and is bounded N., E. and S. by Junin and Ayacucho. Pop. (1906 official estimate) 167,8^0; area, 9254 sq. m. The principal industry is mining for silver and quicksilver. The best-known silver mines are the Castrovirreyna.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)