IBARRA, a city of Ecuador and capital of the province of Imbabura, about 50 m. N.N.E. of Quito, on a small fertile plain at the northern foot of Imbabura volcano, 7300 ft. above sealevel. Pop. (1900, estimate) 5000. It stands on the left bank of the Tahuando, a small stream whose waters flow north and west to the Pacific through the Mira, and is separated from the higher plateau of Quito by an elevated transverse ridge of which the Imbabura and Mojanda volcanoes form a part. The surrounding country is mountainous, the valleys being very fertile. Ibarra itself has a mild, humid climate, and is set in the midst of orchards and gardens. It is the see of a bishop and has a large number of churches and convents, and many substantial residences. Ibarra has manufactures of cotton and woollen fabrics, hats, sandals (alpar gates), sacks and rope from cabulla fibre, laces, sugar and various kinds of distilled spirits and cordials made from the sugar-cane grown in the vicinity. Mules are bred for the Colombian markets of Pasto and Popayan. Ibarra was founded in 1597 by Alvaro de Ibarra, the president of Quito. It has suffered from the eruptions of Imbabura, and more severely from earthquakes, that of 1859 causing great damage to its public buildings, and the greater one of the 16th of August 1868 almost completely destroyed the town and killed a large number of its inhabitants. The village of Carranqui, ij m. from Ibarra, is the birthplace of Atahualpa, the Inca sovereign executed by Pizarro, and close by is the small lake called Yaguarcocha where the army of Huaynacapac, the father of Atahualpa, inflicted a bloody defeat on the Carranquis. Another aboriginal battle-field is that of Hatuntaqui, near Ibarra, where Huaynacapac won a decisive victory and added the greater part of Ecuador to his realm. The whole region is full of tolas, or Indian burial mounds.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)