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Fuerte Bulnes

Fuerte Bulnes is a Chilean fort located by the Strait of Magellan, 62 km south of Punta Arenas. It was founded in 1843 over a rocky hill at Punta Santa Ana, under the command of President Manuel Bulnes Prieto.

The fort's construction was a consequence of the colonization policies in Southern Chile. Chiloe's intendant Domingo Espineira Riesco ordered the construction of a schooner named after the President himself, but its name was changed to "Goleta Ancud" by Bulnes in order to reflect the origin of the ship. It sailed from Ancud on May 22, 1843, under the orders of Captain Juan Williams , and it arrived at Punta Santa Ana on September 21st 1843, about 2 km from Puerto del Hambre.

At this place the fort was built, using mainly logs and dirt & grass 'bricks'.

Due to the harsh weather, it was not possible to gather a large and stable population. As a result, after six years of struggling to establish a town in that area, Punta Arenas was founded in the Sandy Point area in 1848. Once people finished moving and settled down in Punta Arenas, the fort was left aside, even being lit by Lieutenant Cambiazo.

Between 1941 and 1943 the fort was rebuilt, and it was declared a national monument in 1968. Today, it is administered by CONAF (National Forest Corporation).


Francisco Solano Asta-Buruaga y Cienfuegos, Diccionario geografico de la Republica de Chile, D. Appleton y Compania, Nueva York, 1899, pg. 582 Puerto del Hambre

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