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Quillota

Topics: Communes of Chile

The city of Quillota is located in the Aconcagua River valley, in the Valparaiso Region of Chile. It is the capital and largest city of Quillota Province where many inhabitants live in the surrounding farm areas of San Isidro, La Palma, Pocochay, and San Pedro. It is an important agricultural centre (mainly because the plantations of avocado and cherimoya {custard apple} trees).

Quillota is connected with the city of La Calera by the small town of La Cruz. The area's agriculture and landscape was described by Charles Darwin in his book The Voyage of the Beagle. A nearby National Park (La Campana) holds a plaque at a viewpoint visited by him.

Quillota is 120 km from the capital Santiago, 60 km from the regional capital Valparaiso and is home to the Chilean Army's school of calvary and the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso.

History

The Quillota valley had a big population density for about 2000 years. Earlier, this area was inhabited by Native Americans from the Bato and Lleo-Lleo Culture, because of the fertil land south of the Aconcagua River. These natives where later influenced by Mapuches and Diaguitas. The Diaguitas are credited with the evolution of the local culture of the Aconcagua zone and were well known for their pottery.

Diego de Almagro arrived in the valley in 1536. Incan scouts directed him to a beautiful and very fertile valley where the "Quillotas" lived. Before him, a Spanish soldier from Peru called Don Gonzalo Calvo de Barrientos was captured by the Quillotas and lived in the valley, learning the local language and culture, during his captivity. Almagro was delighted with the valley, but he was searching for gold and finding none, returned to Peru.

Almagro crossed the valley of Quillota and its environs. And having found the Aconcagua river overflowed and with few possibilities of finding gold, he deemed the land too difficult and returned to Peru, in where he died executed.

Later in 1540, Pedro de Valdivia arrived in Chile with the title of "Governor of Chile". He arrived in the valley and built farms and houses, mainly for the slaves and the Indians who where working for him. Almost the whole area occupied by present day Quillota was Valdivia's property.

De Valdivia established here his Fortress, between San Pedro and Limache, extracting gold from La Campana mountain and cultivating the Rauten valley, La Palma, Boco and take for himself all the area as his personal property, leaving the Mapocho valley as Capital when he founded Santiago.

After the conquest and during the Colonial period, population was increasing with the mix of races (Spaniards and Aconcaguas) and culture.

Until 1585, Quillota was declared Corregimiento, and it was the main place of a large province between Illapel and Casablanca.

In the XVI century were some tries to founding in the Quillota valley a Village with all features and requirements ordered by Spanish Kingdom, but it did not succeed.

It was only in 1717 that finally, Quillota was founded as a city, originally named "Village of San Martin de la Concha of Quillota" in the valley bordering Mayaca Hill. The city was founded by the bishop, Luis Romero, and the governor, Don Jose Santiago Concha y Salvatierra.

Facts

Motto: Ciudad creada con carino (City created with care)

Mayor: Dr. Luis Mella Gajardo

Population: (census 2002) 75,921/

Quillota remains one of the most traditional cities in Chile:

*its layout still mainly correspond to the original colonial spanish layout of the 7 blocks per side.

*Its core population its made out of descendants of spanish settlers and indigenous people (there are still a few families with lands in the valley given by the Spanish Governors).

*Given its fertile soil, its economy is mainly agricultural and it is one of the main producers centres of the country.

*Due to the geological make up of the ground and the frecuency of earthquakes, its architecture has remained low-rise (4 storeys maximum), sober and traditional.

Communes within the Province of Quillota

Quillota

La Calera

Nogales

La Cruz

Limache

Hijuelas

Schools and Universities

The city is well endowed with educational facilities, for primary and secondary education. And given its agricultural importance in the country, many universities of the region had established their agricultural studies faculties here. The following is a list of some of these facilities:

Instituto Rafael Ariztia, Marist Fathers.

Colegio Tecnico Diego Echeverria, Marist Fathers.

Colegio Ingles "Saint Gabriel's English School".

Colegio "Nuestra Senora del Huerto".

Liceo de Hombres Santiago Escutti Orrego

School of Agricultural Studies of the Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso. [*]

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