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Valdivia travel guide — Valdivia tourism and travel information

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about Valdivia

Valdivia is a city of southern Chile, located at the confluence of the Calle Calle river, Valdivia river and Cau Cau river and it 15 km east from the coastal town and by of Corral, Chile. Valdivia administratively belongs to X Región de Los Lagos and it is the capital of the province of Valdivia.

According to the 2002 census, Valdivia has 140,000 inhabitants (valdivianos). The main activities are tourism, paper and metalurgic industry, and beer production. The city is also the home of the Universidad Austral de Chile.

The city of Valdivia has some special backgorund which distinguishes it from other Chilean cities. Founded by Pedro de Valdivia, Valdivia with the island of Chiloé were the two southernmost of the Spanish Empire and depedend directly of the Crown. In the second half of 19th century, Valdivia wa s the entry gate for German immigrants who massively settled in southern Chile. Also, in the 1960s decade, the city was the epicenter (and most damaged city) of the Great Chilean Earthquake.

An unique characteristic among Chilean cities, is that Valdivia is crossed by navegable rivers.

Valdivia history

Valdivia was founded in 1552 by the Conqueror of Chile, Pedro the Valdivia, as Santa María la Blanca de Valdivia.

Although after Valdivia's death the frontier of Spanish Empire was set on northwards Bio Bio river, Valdivia remained as Spanish nail, and with the island of Chiloé consituted the to southernmost points of the Empire. Due it's strategical importance for the Viceroyalty of Peru, both places dependend directly of the Spanish Crown. Also, Corral became the most fortified bay at the time, with 17 forts.

During spanish colonial time, dutch and english corsairs tried unsuccessfully to capture the place. The closest attempt was made by a dutch colony, which settled in the place a couple of months but were forced to leave when huilliche broke trade relations with them, causing a serious food shortage.

During Chilean Indepence perid, Valdivia of Chiloé remaiined loyal to the Spanish Empire. After the Indepence, the new country captured both places and integrated them into Chile (1821). The action was realized by the first Chilean fleet, commanded by English Lord Thomas Cochrane. Showing his astuce, Cochrane attacked by surprise, preventing a strong and fatal response of the forts.

Due the dense sourrinding Valdivian temperate rain forests, the expansion of the city and the development of the city was limited. So, in the second half of 19th century, the Chilean government started a serious inmigration programme, in charge of Vicente Pérez Rosales. Thousands of German settled down in the zone, bringing with them the technology and know-how to develop agriculture and industry. In the way to get arable land, several acres of native forest were burned.

On May 22 1960, Chilean territory was affected by a severe earthquake: Chile is affected by a great earthquake every ten years, however 1960 earthquake was the biggest ever registered in the world. Measure equipment registered 13 degrees in Richter scale after they broke. As consequences, there were tsunamis in Japan and Hawaii. In Valdivia, many spanish fortifications were completely destroyed. The level of the rivers dramatically rose up and cause severous damages in the city. Also, in some places the surface went down.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Valdivia, Chile".

This city is also known as: Valdivia.

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