Puren is a town (13.917 inhabitants) and commune in Malleco Province of Araucania Region, Chile. It is located in the west base of the Nahuelbuta mountain range . The economical activity of Puren is based in forest exploitation and agriculture. The most characteristic product of Puren is the white strawberry which is bigger and sweeter than common strawberry.
In Mapuche language or Mapudungun Puren means swampy place
San Juan Bautista de Puren was a fort founded by Juan Gomez de Almagro, by order of the Governor of Chile Pedro de Valdivia, almost in the center of the northwest part of the valley of Puren, a little more than a kilometer from the left bank of the Puren River in the Puren valley and about six kilometers to the northeast of the present city of Puren.
This fort was abandoned on the death of Pedro de Valdivia but was reoccupied by Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, after a bitter campaign with the followers of Caupolican on May 20, 1558. Guanoalca captured and burned it in 1586. Rebuilt by Governor Alonso de Sotomayor in 1589, it received some improvements but it was always harassed by the Mapuche, and was again abandoned and set afire by them in the 1598 Mapuche rising that exploded after the Disaster of Curalaba.
The fort was again restored under the governor Alonso Garcia Ramon in 1609, lost again and rebuilt by governor Alonso de Ribera in 1613 and was again abandoned in 1624. So it remained until 1665, when governor Francisco de Meneses Brito again built a fort there and repopulated it. Finally in 1723, Governor Gabriel Cano de Aponte decided to order its demolition and permanent abandonment, moving the garrison to the fort of San Carlos de Puren called Puren Nuevo (New Puren), on the Bio Bio River. The old ruins continued to be known as Old Puren and those ruins were still to be seen in the 1890s. Francisco Solano Asta Buruaga, Diccionario geografico de la Republica de Chile, Puren
On November 24, 1868, a new fort was built in Puren, located at 38 04' Lat. and 73 06' Lon., between the brooks Nahuelco and Panqueco, a little more than three kilometers from the south or right bank of the upper part of the Puren River. To the northeast on the opposite shore of the Puren river is the location that the old Puren fortress occupied. A village had sprung up next to the fort by the 1890s following the occupation of Araucania. Francisco Solano Asta Buruaga, Diccionario geografico de la Republica de Chile, Puren. Aldea y fuerte
Recently, some pre-Hispanic proto-pyramids or mounds have been discovered near Puren.Dillehay, Tom, Monuments, Empires, and Resistance: The Araucanian Polity and Ritual Narratives
Francisco Solano Asta-Buruaga y Cienfuegos, Diccionario geografico de la Republica de Chile, D. Appleton y Compania, Nueva York, 1899
* Puren,(Aldea y fuerte) pg. 597
* Puren,(Antigua plaza fuerte) pg. 598
Encarta: Map of Puren
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