La Plata (lä pläˈtä) [key], city (1991 pop. 640,344), capital of Buenos Aires prov., E central Argentina, 5 mi (8.1 km) inland from Ensenada, its port on the Río de la Plata. La Plata's chief function is that of provincial capital, but industrial growth has been steady, and large quantities of processed food, chemicals, and steel are produced. Although the proximity of Buenos Aires has to some extent checked its development, La Plata is also a major cultural center, with fine museums and colleges and a national university. The national naval academy is located in nearby Ensenada. The city was founded in 1882, after Buenos Aires was federalized as the national capital. During the dictatorship of Juan Perón (1946–55), both city and province were renamed Eva Perón, in honor of his wife. The name La Plata was restored when Perón's regime was overthrown (1955).
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