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This challenges the "Clovis First" model of migration to the New World. Researchers speculate that the first inhabitants of Valdivia and Chile travelled to America by watercraft and not across a land-bridge in the Bering Strait.

The Huilliche and Mapuche were both referred to by the Spaniards as Araucanos. Their main language was a variant of Mapudungun, the Mapuche language. A large village called Ainil stood where present-day downtown Valdivia has been developed. The Huilliche called the river, Ainilebu now known as the Valdivia River. Ainil seemed to have been an important trade center; it was a port on the sea and had access to the interior via the network of the Cruces and Calle-Calle rivers, both tributaries of the Valdivia.

Ainil may be described as "a kind of little Venice ," as it had large areas of wetlands and canals. Since that period, most of these waterways and wetlands have been drained or filled.

Riverside Market on the banks of Valdivia River. The surroundings of Valdivia were described as extensive plains having a large population that cultivated potatoes , maize , quinoa and legumes , among other crops. Later the British naturalist Charles Darwin observed that "there is not much cleared land near Valdivia. Spanish colony — [ edit ] See also: He named the river after the Governor of Chile Pedro de Valdivia. The Spanish made many attempts to defeat the Mapuche and defend the cities and forts built on their territory.

On March 17 of the city was damaged by a massive earthquake. It has since been likened to the Great Chilean earthquake of in terms of damage. Picture of Pedro de Valdivia , conquistador of Chile and founder of Valdivia During the 16th century, the economy of Valdivia was sustained by trade in agricultural products from nearby areas and by the coining and export of placer gold from Villarrica , Madre de Dios and Osorno.

In Lima and the restof Chile, people referred to all the gold from these sources as "gold from Valdivia. It produced the largest ships in the Kingdom of Chile.

The Indians destroyed or forced the abandonment of all the Spanish settlements and forts in their lands, in what came to be known as the Destruction of the Seven Cities. On the morning of 24 November , the Huilliche attacked the city and massacred its inhabitants, some few being rescued by the ships in the harbour. Valdivia was re-established but it was a Spanish enclave surrounded by native Huilliche territory.

On September 24 natives attacked the fort unsuccessfully, but laid siege. The Spaniards could not acquire food or supplies, and on 3 February abandoned the fort, with the last starving survivors rescued by ship. The Dutch governor of the East Indies Hendrik Brouwer , learned about the situation in Valdivia, and decided to establish a base there for further attacks against the Viceroy of Peru. This plan was well accepted as the Netherlands was at war with Spain.

The Dutch had previously taken the North of Brazil from the Spanish-Portuguese crown , and the idea of creating a South American empire was attractive. In spite of his advanced age, Hendrik Brouwer left his post as governor in the East Indies to personally lead the expedition. John Maurice of Nassau while in charge of the Dutch part of Brazil had equipped the expedition and had secretly appointed Elias Herckman as commander if Brouwer died.

Herckman finally occupied the ruins of Valdivia in , renaming it Brouwershaven. The Dutch did not find the gold mines they expected and the hostility of the natives forced them to leave on 28 October He financed partly the expedition to repopulate Valdivia with his own capital.

The Valdivia enclave was placed directly under the control of the Viceroyalty of Peru that administered Valdivia from its repopulation in until During this time it was several times proposed to move the city of Valdivia to Mancera Island. Beginning in the midth century Valdivia left behind its past as an enclave and a period of agricultural expansion begun.

The expansion, that mainly directed to the south, was done mostly by pacific means, but hostilities with indigenous Huilliches did occur.

After the Valdivian colonization had reached Bueno River Spanish authorities pushed for connecting the city of Valdivia with the settlements at Chacao Channel by a road. Many juntas, as was the case of Chile, declared plans to rule their territory in the absence of the legitimate king. At the time of the first governing junta of Chile in the Valdivian governor, an Irishman , Albert Alexander Eagar, led the celebration of what was seen as an affirmation of the legitimacy of the Spanish king.

Valdivia had been a province of the General Captaincy of Chile and was in incorporated as one of the eight provinces of Chile. The expansion and economic development of the city were limited in the early 19th century.

Through this program, thousands of Germans settled in the area, incorporating then-modern technology and know-how to develop agriculture and industry. While immigrants that arrived to the Llanquihue area were often poor farmers, Valdivia received more educated immigrants, including political exiles and merchants.

Some of the immigrants that arrived in Valdivia established workshops and built new industries. Other Germans left the city and became settlers, drawn by the promise of free land. They were often given forested land, which they cleared to turn into farms.

The Osorno department of Valdivia Province was moved to Llanquihue Province created in as consequence of German immigration to the Llaquihue area. Never will have the country that adopts us as its children, reason to repent of such illustrated, human and generous proceeding, The steel mills of Corral were the largest recorded private investment in Chile at the time, and were the first steel mills in South America. In Valdivia became a commune according to a law that created such subdivisions.

After the Malleco Viaduct was built in the railroads advanced further south, reaching Valdivia in The first passenger train arrived in In a fire destroyed 18 city blocks in downtown Valdivia, [12] which were rebuilt with modern concrete buildings.

By lumber production, from clearing of native forests, became the most important industry. Cattle-raising was a growing industry, and wheat was grown on the cleared lands. Lumber, cattle, leather, flour and beer were exported. Everywhere you meet German faces, German signboards and placards alongside the Spanish. There is a large German school, a church and various Vereine, large shoe-factories, and, of course, breweries In the first "Valdivian Week" Spanish: Semana Valdiviana was celebrated.

The city evolved as an early tourist center in Chile, while popular songs that named Valdivia and the Calle-Calle River made it better known in Chilean popular culture. The commercial and human flux Valdivia suffered two setbacks in the early 20th century, first the connection of Osorno by railroad to central Chile which meant that Valdivia lost the quality of being the port that connected Osono to Central Chile.

The earthquake generated devastating tsunamis that affected Japan and Hawaii. Government authorities drew plans for evacuating the city, but many people left on their own. Danger to the city was reduced after a large team of workers opened a drainage channel in the landslide; water levels of the lake slowly returned to normal levels.

There is evidence that a similar landslide and earthquake happened in Much of the city was destroyed and many inhabitants left. By , the military junta reorganized the political divisions of Chile and declared Valdivia a province of the Los Lagos Region with Puerto Montt as the regional capital.

Many Valdivians resented the decision, and felt theirs should have been the legitimate regional capital—while Valdivia was founded in , and had resisted pirate attacks , hostile natives and several earthquakes, Puerto Montt was a relatively new city founded only in three hundred and one years later.

This led to deforestation and substitution of native Valdivian temperate rainforests to plant pines and eucalyptus , but also created new jobs for people with limited education. Valdivia has an early Spanish colonial past, plus a later history of German colonization. Both eras left visible landmarks such as the forts of Corral Bay and the German-style wood houses. The governments of Spain and Germany currently maintain honorary consulates in Valdivia.

Every year during the summer months of January and February the municipality organizes many free cultural events along the river site, such as concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment. To mark and celebrate the end of the touristic summer months, halfway through February all entertainment reaches its climax with the celebration of noche Valdiviana Valdivian night. During this night many local groups and communities present themselves on boats during a night parade over the river.

Every boat has its own theme related with one theme of that year. At the end a jury picks the winners in different categories. In recent years Valdivians have showed an increasing interest in nature and ecotourism. With the founding of Universidad Austral in and the arrival of the CECS research center, Valdivia is now considered a major research center in Chile, particularly in areas related to nature such a glaciology and ecology.

Valdivians resented to be punished first by a major earthquake and then by being placed under the administration of what they perceived to be a less-deserving city, Puerto Montt.


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