Chillán

(The falling down of what is being brought)

Chillan Cathedral in the South of Chile

Chillan Cathedral in the South of Chile

The city of Chillán is the capital of the province of Ñuble  in the VIII-Region of Bio-Bio, placed  on an extensive plain, between the mountain range of La Costa and summits of The Andes, Chillán is located 247 miles to the south of Santiago and 65 miles of the city of Los Angeles, and has approximately 167 thousand inhabitants. is one of the oldest cities of Chile, with more than four centuries of existence.

Heading south it is Chillán Viejo, the original location of the city. Chillán Viejo has a  long  record of destructions and relocations, In 1751 the city was moved from another  ocation to the place where Chillán Viejo stands, by order of Ortiz de Rozas. Later in 1835,  the current city of Chillán was founded and it was ordered the transfer of the old city. This not  being accepted by some inhabitants produced the developement of both of the cities. Finally, in 1939, a violent nocturnal earthquake knocked down the south. In this earthquake perished around 15,000 people and 90% of the city was destroyed. Today, the anti-earthquake and modern constructions predominate  within the city,with very few constructions that exceed more than 50 years.

In your visit to Chillán, walk through the area  in which the Bernardo O’Higgins seat, stands, the place is ornamented with beautiful yellow flowers, native of the pampa. In the front, it is the cathedral, with eleven parabolic arcs and an interior that receives a smooth indirect light, on its exterior a monumental cross stands, with a bell tower and carillon, of 118 feet of height, as a tribute to the victims of 1939 earthquake. The Chillán’s cathedral offers masses Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12:15 hours; Saturdays from 12:15 and at 19 hours; and Sundays at 8:30, 10, 12:30 and at 20 hours.

Another place of tourist interest is the artisan fair of Chillán, one of the most complete artisan fair in Chile, filled with ceramics, wood weaves, baskets, carvings and chupallas (Chilean country-side hut).The handcrafted artifacts are still used  and most of the local buyers are farmers that provide themselves with blankets, mounts, spurs, chupallas (Chilean countryside hut) and other implements.

Chillan Market, south of Chile

Chillan Market, south of Chile

San Francisco Convent, also worths  a visit, a pretty cloister and a church constructed between 1907 and 1937 are part of the convent. In its interior, is the  San Francisco de Chillán museum which exhibits a collection of sacred objects and historical pertaining to the Convent and the School San Alfonso both founded on 1585. The museum can be visited the entire year, from Mondays through Fridays from 10 to 12:45 and from 15 to 18:30 hours; Saturdays, Sundays and festive from 10 to 18 hours. The entrance is free

Mexico School, with its murals of painters Siqueiros and Guerrero stands out in your city visit. The school was donated by the government of Mexico after the earthquake that knocked down Chillán in 1939, and is decorated with splendid frescos. In the entrance hall, it is the Mexico Mural to Chile, by the painter Xavier Guerrero. In the second floor, in the Pedro Aguirre Library, is placed the mural “Death to the invader”, by Jose David Alfaro Siqueiros, where allegories of histories of Chile and Mexico during the Spanish dominion are represented. The works of these artists of world-wide fame are unique in Chile, and they strike you by their shapes, colors and the expression of the characters. Can be visited throughout the year from Mondays through Fridays from 10 to 12:45 and from 15 to 18:30; also Saturdays, Sundays and festive between the 10 and 18. The entrance is free.

San Juan of Dios Chapel was declared National Monument (Monumento Nacional) in 1972. It has been declared National Monument only the part that is still standing, of which once before was the ancient Hospital San Juan of God (Hospital San Juan de Dios). In an interior garden, the original bell is conserved  sustained in a coarse scaffolding, and surrounded by halls which display a colonial aspect by their old wooden posts on natural stone bases. Embedded in the porch of the chapel are observed two niches of undeniable old flavor. The first is carved in wood the face of San Juan. In the second, it is an image of modeled material of San Roque. The chapel is located in Avenue O’Higgins 1661.

For a calming walk: Bernardo O’Higgins Monumental Park offers two hectares of meadows and gardens with native arboreal species. It is the historical and cultural center  constructed in colonial style that is the Municipality of Old Chillán today.

Chinchorro Museum (Museo Chinchorro), in the circle of retired sailors. “The Small boat” is formed by ex- servants of the Navy in all its branches. It was founded the 21 of May of 1953. But “Symbolic Boat” was called, the partners are denominated row. The name is because in the old Navy a shallow-draft vessel denominated “Small boat” existed and that always was for all service. One is located in street Isabel Riquelme 1173.

Chillan’s Contemporary Graphic Arts International Museum,  born in 1997 with the donation of 80 work pieces of the visual artist Hernando León who lived in Germany until 2002, and counts on a patrimony of 200 works. The Museum has made exhibitions of as much Latin American creators as European, within the denominated temporary exhibitions, some of the highlights in its collection are: Engravings of the Dresden; Germany, Guillermo Núñez; Roser Bru; Delia del Carril; Popular engravers of the Northeast of Brazil. Throughout this time the Museum has developed a work of diffusion altogether with other cultural and social institutions of the province of Ñuble, such as Professional Schools and of Municipalities Grammars school, Institutes, particular Schools, unions Municipalities, Associations, Cultural Centers and Universities. So, it is in this way, it has given for free lessons to factories, conferences and exhibitions on engraving, spreading the cultural patrimony that protects. It opens from 8 to 14 hours and from the 15 to the 17 hours from Mondays through Fridays.

Also, near the city of Chillán places where you can get in touch with the Chilean country lifestyle can be founded, and they are opened to visitors, one of those is Los Vilches the Agricultural Tourism. It is located on the way to San Nicolas, in the west of Chillán. In this educative farm of forty hectares, you can see the tasks of raising the farm animals, greenhouses farming and vineyards plantation. This place counts on fields for children, games, horses for stroll, swimming pool and a colonial house with traditional decoration. It is offered lodging and food services.

Find the El Mirador, located in the Los Coihues to the south of the city of Chillán. The supervisory house, of the year 1900, belonged to the old property Los Coihues . The place counts on restaurant of typical Chilean dishes, recognized by its marvelous “onces” (tea time) of typical country-side. Lodging is also available.

Strolls from Chillán

Coihueco

Coihueco is a small pre mountain range settlement about 16 miles from Chillán. The carving tradition in Coihueco demands the use of basil wood for its creations, which are often used to embellish tables and lamps bases. Two miles away is  the Coihueco Reservoir, which is located in a pre mountain range place, surrounded of vegetation. It gives origin to a lagoon where water skiing and sailing can be practiced. It is a good place to make a picnic and to swim.

Sanctuary of the Nature and  the Huemules de Niblinto National Reserve

The Sanctuary of the Nature and  the Huemules de Niblinto National Reserve. Its mission is to protect the last population of huemules of central Chile, in the area between Nevado de Chillán  and the Laja lagoon.

Spas of Chillán (Termas de Chillán)

Termas de Chillán ski center and the Spas of Chillán are 50 miles away from Chillán city They are in the beginning of the hills of the volcano of the same name and have one complete infrastructure of services in the area. In addition, they offer alternatives of excursions and strolls during the year. The way that leads to this center goes next to the Chillán River and by the Renegado River. The route crosses native forest and ascends by curves between the exuberant vegetation of the zone.

Itata Falls (Salto del Itata)

Through the way that goes to the  Laja Lagoon to the west of Chillán and 56 miles will arrive at this beautiful water jump of 246 feet of height.

Cave of the Pincheira

Located in a cavern formed by the volcanic rock crystallization, it is a big cavern, little deep, that served as hide-out of the Pincheira brothers, who sacked the city of Chillán in 1819. A pleasant area of picnic exists in the place.

Las Trancas Valley

The beautiful mountain range town Las Trancas Valley is surrounded by beautiful cliffs and native forest of lengas and coigües, that changes of tonality in the course of the year, turning their leaves reddish in autumn and retaking their intense greenness in spring, on the ground covered with ferns and copihues (Chile’s national flower ). In the Las Trancas Valley will find a big variety of good restaurants and comfortable lodgings that work the entire year. It is a good departure point for mountain excursions, by foot or by horse, preferably to make it with someone who knows the place or with a guide. One of the excursions leaves by a footpath signalized left hand, next to the  Los Pirineos Hotel toward Shingri-la, old Ski center with several buildings and aero chairs,abandoned in 1975. They are 6 miles of a difficult road, only apt for 4X4 cars , bordering a huge wall of millenarian volcanic rocks called El Purgatorio.

Ñuble National Reserve

These are approximately 75 thousand hectares. They are administered by CONAF; and include the mountain range border area between Chillán volcano  and the North shore of the Laja lagoon In the entrance, next to the Diguillín River  and with views to magnificent summits and forests on height, there is a day-care center and an office where you will find information of its sites, sectors and footpaths. The first footpath, now scarped, from medium to high difficulty, crosses a mountain range cord, place where it inhabits one of the last populations of Huemul in the central zone of Chile.

Hermoso Valley

It has another day-care center of CONAF where the Huemul project is administered, because this area is habitat of these species. From this point, the footpath follows 12 miles by flat sectors and low vegetation, with views to AntucoVolcano ; passing through the Blanquillo Falls (Salto del Blanquillo) and the Polcura River (Rio Polcura).

Los Peucos

Here is located the Environmental Information Center, camping, tourist refuge and a thermal water source prepared in five individual bathtubs. This is the departure point of diverse footpaths of excursion:

Footpath from Peucos- the Poza River and Polcura river

It lasts around 4 hours, and it crosses these beautiful, creeks atmospheres.

Footpath the Peucos- El Blanquillo Waterfall (Sendero Los Peucos- Saltos El Blanquillo)

Its last 6 hrs. The Peucos follows the river until Monte Alto. It can be observed flora and fauna in wooded atmospheres and El Blanquillo fall.

Footpath the Peucos – The Eagles (Sendero Los Peucos- Las Aguilas)

Last 12 hrs. It goes through lateral wooded sectors and of mountain range hills until the  Eagles valley.

San Fabian of Alico

The town of San Fabian of Alico was founded  December 7th, 1865 on a big terrace on the Ñuble river. Here you will find the monument to the carrier and the giant chess, both works carved in native wood by craftsmen of the commune. In addition, of the tourism office, in where they give general information of the zone; in summer  season guides can be contracted, to know different natural attractive places:  Añil Lagoon, the hills Malacara and Alico or the La Plata lagoon 18 miles towards the mountain range, is accessible through a footpath by foot or by horse.

Yungay

(Mild Valley – Valle templado)

The locality of Yungay has around 7000 inhabitants and it is head town of an agricultural and forest commune. It counts on diverse services, among them, residential, hostels with restaurants, services center,  fuel and telephone.  Aged linden trees, araucarias and jacarandas shade those who want to a take a pleasant walk. The town of Yungay is a good departure point to visit the rural areas of the environs, such as the Forecastle of Itata, Park islands, the Trilaleo resort , the Aliwén camping , all of them equipped, and the mountain range area of the Las Vacas Valley. In the rustic town and sectors, it is possible to find crafts in toots, wicker, carved and wood.

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