History of Victoria

The deep foundations of our culture are built on the ethnic groups that make up the pre-Hyspanic Indian universe. The native world, which is frequently featured as a world divided into isolated tribes unaware of each other's existence, in fact was characterized by its multiplicity and diversity, as well as by its dynamism and spaciousness.

The City of Victoria was the natural habitat of the great Chaná nation, which had a wide dispersion area on both banks of the Paraná river and was divided into entities: mocoretáes, calchines, quiloazas, corondas, timbúes, caracáes, chanáes and beguaés. All of them shared one same cultural basis.

The chaná-timbú settled down in the low lands and developed a cultural lifestyle closely related to the river. They were skilled canoeists and their watercrafts were made with large hollow logs which acted as fortresses and transportation at the same time. This enabled trade with other ethnic groups.

Known as the city of the seven hills, Victoria is located in the Southwest of the province, amidst the typical undulations and ranges of low hills of Entre Ríos.

The primitive dwellers had settlements in the area until the mid XVIIIth century.

In 1749, the governor of Buenos Aires sent troops to occupy the left bank of the Paranacito River and it was in the vicinity of Mount La Matanza, located between the present city and the cemetery, that a ruthless battle ended up by terminating the local native Americans.

In 1800, the first populated center emerged in the area known as Barrio de las Caleras or Quinto Cuartel. It was called La Matanza (the slaughter), as a tribute to the battle mentioned above.

In 1806, the neighbors of La Matanza and its surroundings met at the chapel Nuestra Señora del Carmen de Nogoyá with the purpose of saluting the Bishop of Buenos Aires, who was touring the region. He recommended the foundation of a chapel due to the distance they had to travel. Years later, this task was given to Salvador Joaquín de Ezpeleta, who in June 1809 started the proceedings to raise the church and carry out the foundation of the town.

Thus, in 1820, the first authorities of La Matanza were appointed: commander José Albarenque y Antunez and tax collector Ramón Pereyra.

In 1822, the position of brotherhood mayor, which had a double function -judical and police- was created. The first appointed mayor was José Albarenque y Antúnez.

In August 26, 1826, the category of the settlement was elevated to village and the street map was laid out.

In October 31, 1829, the name of the village was changed from La Matanza to Victoria by a decree passed by governor Sola.

In 1839, Juan Lavalle invaded Entre Ríos on his way towards Corrientes to overthrow Juan Manuel de Rosas. In April 1840, a revolution supporting Lavalle's campaign took place in Victoria. Lavalle's forces invaded the village and plundered some shops. This riot was crushed by Echagüe's forces.

Since 1850, the brotherhood mayors were replaced by justices of the peace. The first one to occupy this position was José María Gamas.

In 1865, General Urquiza summoned the people from Entre Ríos to participate in the War of Paraguay. Under the command of Colonel José María León, the Victoria Division, made up by 650 men, went to the Calá camp.

In April 21, 1872, the foundation stone of the new temple was set in the spot where the ancient chapel used to stand. The parish priest was presbyter Pascual Bartoloni.

In January 1, 1873, the Municipality was established. The first mayor was Luis Espíndola. As well, Bank Victoria began to operate.

In 1899, the Abadía Benedictina del Niño Dios, first Benedictine monastery in Hyspanic America, was created with the participation of priests Gerardo Harán, Fermín Ospital and brother Ildefonso Yrigoyen.

In May 25, 1902, the Town Hall was inaugurated with mayor Luis Bilbao.

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