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Concepcion, Chile

Concepcion is a city in Chile, capital of Concepcion Province and of the Biobio Region or Region VIII. Greater Concepcion is the second-largest conurbation in the country, with 889,725 inhabitants (2002 census). Individually, it is the 11th largest commune in the country, with a population of 212,003.


Concepcion was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1550 north of the Bio-Bio River, at the site which is today known as Penco. At that time it was given the name Concepcion del Nuevo Extremo. The new settlement of Concepcion was just a few kilometers north of La Frontera (The Frontier), the boundary between Spanish territory and the land of the Mapuche, an American Indian ethnic group that remained independent until the 1870s. The settlement was formally recognized by the Spanish authorities as a town two years later by a royal decree. It was given a coat-of-arms that is still in use today.

Although Concepcion was a significant military settlement for the Captaincy-General of Chile, it was overrun and destroyed by Mapuche armies in 1554, and once again after being refounded in 1555. Concepcion was restored during the governorship of Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza when he landed there and built a fort on the Alto de Pinto in 1557. The town was refounded once more on January 6, 1558, by captain Jeronimo de Villegas. It became the headquarters of the military forces engaged against the Mapuche in Araucania over the next two centuries, growing to a population of 10,000 despite a siege in 1564 and other attacks by the Mapuche. Concepcion was the home of the Real Audiencia from 1565 to 1575.

Earthquakes and tsunamis, which razed the town in 1570, 1657, 1687, 1730 and 1751, led the authorities to move the town to its current site in the Valle de la Mocha, alongside the Bio-Bio River; the old site lay empty until March 29, 1842, when the present town of Penco was founded.

The new site for the town of Concepcion became the main town of the Intendancy of Concepcion, whose jurisdiction extended from the Maule River to La Frontera. The first Intendant of Concepcion was the Irishman Ambrose O'Higgins, Marquis of Osorno, who later became Royal Governor of Chile and Viceroy of Peru.

When the First National Government Board met in Santiago on September 18, 1810, citizens of Concepcion joined up. Concepcion was used as the point of entry by the Spanish Army in the attempt by the Viceroyalty of Peru to re-conquer Chile. Concepcion politicians and soldiers became a significant political force in the newly-independent country.

On January 1, 1818, Ambrose O'Higgins's son, Bernardo O'Higgins, proclaimed and took the oath of the Chilean War of Independence in the main square of Concepcion, which since then has been known as "Plaza de la Independencia". On February 20, 1835, the town again was largely destroyed by an earthquake and had to be rebuilt.

As of 2010, Concepcion is the second largest city of Chile. The Universidad de Concepcion, founded in 1919, became the first private university in Chile. The neighboring harbor of Talcahuano is the site of the largest naval base in Chile.

27 February 2010 Earthquake

On February 27, 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck the city of Concepcion, killing more than 700 people and injuring thousands nationwide. Following the earthquake, geologists relying on global positioning satellite (GPS) data concluded that the city had been displaced roughly 10 feet to the west as a result of the event. Fortunately, the city avoided the tsunami that followed the earthquake. Time Magazine, "Quake Response Doesn't Live Up to Chile's Self-Image", Eben Harrell, 4 March 2010 (accessed 4 March 2010)

After the 2010 Chile earthquake, a prison riot began in Concepcion's El Manzano prison following a failed escape attempt by the internees. Different parts of the prison were set on fire and the riot was controlled only after the guards shot into the air and received help from military units. As of 5 March 2010, a Peruvian field hospital has been deployed to the city. UKPA, "Foreign hospitals help out Chile", 6 March 2010 (accessed 6 March 2010)

Natural features

The vicinity is seismically active, with much of Concepcion destroyed by a violent earthquake in 1939. Another major earthquake in 1960 had a nearby epicenter.

On February 27th, 2010, an earthquake of 8.8 magnitude struck at 35.846S, 72.719W, 115 km (70 miles) NNE of the city. The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake struck at 0634 GMT on Saturday at a depth of 35km (21.7 miles). The effects were felt as far away as Sao Paulo, Brazil—.

The climate of Concepcion is classified as Koppen climate classification csb, with a dry summer nadir in February. It has an oceanic influence which keeps temperatures mild throughout the year. Wet snows are possible in winter, but snow does not remain for long.

The chart at right provides a climate summary for Concepcion.

Cultural life

To an outsider, there may be confusion between the demonyms of the inhabitants of Concepcion and the nearby city of Penco. Due to the previous location of Concepcion being where Penco currently stands, inhabitants of Concepcion are called penquistas while inhabitants of Penco are known as pencones.

Concepcion is one of the most active cities in Chilean rock music and many famous rock groups in Chile started up in Concepcion.

cepcion has the second largest concentration of universities in Chile, and is home to three major universities. Concepcion currently has four traditional universities:

Universidad de Concepcion

Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepcion

Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria

Universidad del Bio-Bio.


Concepcion is home of five professional football teams:

Club Deportivo Universidad de Concepcion, currently in the Chilean top division, [[Liga Chilena de Futbol: Primera Division]]

Club Deportivo Ferroviario Almirante Arturo Fernandez Vial, currently in the Chilean third division, [[Liga Chilena de Futbol: Tercera Division|Tercera A]]

Club de Deportes Concepcion, currently in the second division, [[Liga Chilena de Futbol: Primera B]]

Lota Schwager, currently in the Chilean second division, [[Liga Chilena de Futbol: Primera B]]

Club Deportivo Huachipato, currently in the top division, [[Liga Chilena de Futbol: Primera Division]]

Basketball is also played at a high professional level. The most notable team is:

Club Deportivo Universidad de Concepcion, currently in DIMAYOR, Division Mayor del Basquetbol de Chile


Historically characterized by a strong manufacturing industry, Concepion has also been a major center for distribution and services and the financial basis of the regional economy.

Trade in the city is concentrated in the Plaza Indepencia (Independence Square), the pedestrian street Alonso de Ercilla y Zuniga (built in 1981), and along the major avenues. One such avenue is the Diego Barros Arana street which has developed into the commercial center of the city and the region was until 1907 even known as "calle Comercio" ("Commercial Street"). New commercial centers are being developed around the old central station and the new civic district as a part of the Chilean bicentennial . A considerable percentage of local trade is taking place in settlements around the city.

Notable citizens

Luis Altamirano - President of the 1924 Government Junta of Chile

Graciela Araya - opera singer

Jose Maria de la Cruz - Soldier

Adrian Garcia - Tennis player

Lisando Henriquez - Footballer

Ignacio Urrutia Manzano - Politician

Adelqui Migliar - Film actor, director, writer and producer

Marco Enriquez Ominami - Politician

Carlos Keller Rueff - Far right writer, historian, and political figure

Jose A. Santos - Retired American jockey

Paulina Veloso - Lawyer and Socialist Party politician

Anibal Zanartu - Politician

Twin cities

- Cascavel, Brazil

- Bethlehem, Palestinian National Authority

- Guayaquil, Ecuador

- Rosario, Argentina

- La Plata, Argentina

- Auckland, New Zealand

- Sucre, Bolivia

- Caracas, Venezuela


Ida Stevenson Weldon Vernon (1969) Pedro de Valdivia, Conquistador of Chile, Greenwood Press

John Milton Nickles, Marie Siegrist (1965) Bibliography and Index of Geology Exclusive of North America, Geological Society of America, v.28

Line notes


External links

Concepcion municipality

El Sur, newspaper of Concepcion

Viveconce, Event schedule of Concepcion

Octava, Website directory

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

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