Salta, city (1991 pop. 370,302) capital of Salta prov., NW Argentina, in the Lerma valley. It is the commercial center of a region rich in agricultural produce, minerals (chiefly oil), and forest products. Corn, tobacco, wine grapes, and livestock are shipped through the city. Salta has retained its colonial atmosphere. The cathedral is well known, and ruins of many 17th-century buildings dot the surrounding countryside. There is an archaeological museum. Founded in 1582, Salta was a military outpost in the fight against the Native Americans. It became an important commercial and cultural center during the 17th cent.