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Destination Details

Osorno, Chile

 

The city was originally planned to be founded in 1553, under the Government of Pedro de Valdivia by his companion of conquest, Lieutenant General Don Francisco de Villagra; with the name of Santa Marina de Gaete, on the site of a Huilliche village named Chauracavi. However, the death of Valdivia prevented the realization of this plan when he was about to materialize.
On March 27, 1558, the city is finally founded by the governor, García Hurtado de Mendoza; with the new name of Villa de San Mateo de Osorno, in honor of his grandfather, Count of Osorno. It was destroyed again by the indigenous Huilliche people in October 1602.
New Osorno
On November 22, 1792, Tomás de Figueroa took possession of the ruins. Under the orders of Ambrosio O'Higgins, Osorno was again rebuilt by Juan Mackenna, and declared officially re-populated in 1796. O'Higgins, in turn, was awarded the title of Marquess of Osorno.
Osorno owes its legacy to fairly recent Chilean settlement, when the government subdued the region's indigenous Mapuche peoples in the mid-19th century and opened the land to Chilean and European immigration soon to follow. Large percentage of locals in Osorno are descendants of Spanish (the livestock grazing industry owes its foundation to the Basques) and other European immigrants.
Around 1850, the government of Chile began inviting German settlers to the colony to promote growth in the region; the settlers found Osorno's climate and geography to be very similar to their own. With their help, Osorno was made the home of the National Cattle ranch of Chile, boosting the regional economy significantly. Present-day Osorno has preserved 19th century architecture and urban layout, represented by six picturesque houses which have been designated national monuments
Osorno has a long history of rivalry with Valdivia, and in a 2006 referendum, the Osorno Province rejected its proposed incorporation into the new Los Ríos Region, of which Valdivia is now the capital.

 

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