The city was founded by Pedro de Valdivia on February 9th, 1552, on its present site. The place was chosen for strategic reasons: it was near the coastal port, dominated the valleys of the Cruces andCalle Calle rivers, and had good access to the plains where La Union and Rio Bueno are located.
It was the second most important city founded by the Spanish. Abandoned and destroyed during theMapuche uprising of 1599, it was occupied by the English pirate Sebastian de Cordes in 1600.
In 1954 the Universidad del Sur de Chile was opened in Valdivia. In 1960 the city was destroyed by anearthquake and tidal wave. Reborn from this disaster, the main thrust of activity has been in tourism, university life and industry.
The city is located 839 km from Santiago near the mouth of theValdivia river and the port of Corral, on the Pacific Ocean. It stands at the confluence of the rivers Calle-Calle and Cruces, and has a population of 134,408 inhabitants.
The economic activities of thecity are based on cattle raising, food processing, metallurgy, wood, mills, paper manufacturing, breweries and fur.
On a visit you can see the Muelle Schuster, the riverside market, the MuseoHistórico y Antropológico "Mauricio van de Maele" (established in the Carlos Anwandter house), the Universidad Austral de Chile, the El Austral cultural center, the waterfront, the Cathedral, and theTorreón los Canelos built in 1781.
How to get to Valdivia?
The city of Valdivia is 839 km south of Santiago. There are several ways to get there:
There are flights to Valdivia from ArturoMerino Benitez airport in Santiago. The flight takes 2 hours. Pichoy airport, 32 kms north of Valdivia, offers connections with international flights.
The city is connected to the rest ofthe country through Ruta 5, with access from the north through San Jose de la Mariquina and Máfil.
Buses leave from Santiago South Terminal and the journey takes 12 hours.
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