Valencina de la Concepción, Seville

Concepción, Chile

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City flag and seal
City motto: "La Capital del Sur de Chile"
The Capital of the South of Chile
Also called "Biobío's Pearl"''
Founded October 5, 1550
Original name La Concepción de María Purísima del Nuevo Extremo
Region Biobío Region
 - City Proper

 222 km²
 - City (2006)
 - Density (city proper)

292,589 Inhabitants
955 /km²
Metropolitan Area
 - City (2006)
 - Density (city proper)

1,322,581 Inhabitants
Time zone Santiago Time Zone, UTC- 4
Telephone prefix 41
Postal code 3349001
Gentilic Penquista
Day October 5
Mayor Jacqueline van Rysselberghe (UDI)
Official site

The map of the Concepción in the Biobío Region.
Concepción is a city in Chile, capital of Concepción Province and of the Bío-Bío Region. Greater Concepción (Gran Concepción, including Talcahuano, San Pedro de la Paz, Hualpén, Chiguayante, Penco, Tomé, Lota, Coronel,Hualqui and Concepción) is the second-largest conurbation in the country, with 889,725 inhabitants (2002 census). Individually, it is the 11th largest commune in the country, with a population of 212,003.


Concepción was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1550 north of the Bío-Bío River, at the site which is today known as Penco. At that time it was given the name Concepción del Nuevo Extremo. The new settlement of Concepcion was just a few kilometers north of La Frontera (The Frontier), the limit between the Chilean-Spanish territory and the land of the Mapuche, an ethnic group that was not subjugated until the 1870s. The settlement was formally recognized by the Spanish authorities as a city two years later by a royal decree and given its coat of arms which is still in existence today. The city was a significant military settlement for the Chile but was still overrun and destroyed on several occasions by Mapuche armies during the Arauco War in the early period of Spanish colonialism.

Concepción was the home of the Real Audiencia from 1565 to 1575, the most important government organization during Spanish colonial times. When the First National Government Board met in Santiago on September 18 1810, citizens of Concepción joined up. Concepcion was used as the point of entry by the Spanish Army in the attempt by the Viceroyalty of Peru to re-conquer Chile. Concepción politicians and soldiers became a significant political force in the newly-independent country.

More than once the city has been destroyed by earthquakes and tsunamis. One in February 8 1570, in 1657, another on 25 May 1751, at which point it was decided to move Concepción further from the sea to its present location in the Mocha Valley. The new site for the city of Concepción became the head city of the Intendancy of Concepción, whose jurisdiction extended from the Maule River to La Frontera. The first Intendant of Concepción was the Irishman Ambrose O'Higgins, Marquis of Osorno, who later became Royal Governor of Chile and Viceroy of Peru. On 1 January 1818, his son, Bernardo O'Higgins proclaimed and solemnly took the oath of the Independence of Chile in the main square of Concepción, which since then is known as "Plaza de la Independencia". On February 20 1835, the city was largely destroyed by earthquake and had to be rebuilt.

Today Concepción is the second largest city of the country. The Universidad de Concepción, founded in 1919, and with its main campus in the city became the first private university in Chile. The neighbouring harbour of Talcahuano holds the largest naval base in the country.

Cultural life

To an outsider, there may be confusion between the demonyms of the in habitants of Concepción and the nearby city of Penco. Due to the previous location of Concepción being where Penco currently stands, inhabitants of Concepción are called penquistas while inhabitants of Penco are known as pencones.

Concepción is one of the most active cities in rock music and many famous rock groups in Chile started up in Concepción.

Concepción has the second largest concentration of universities in Chile, and is home to three major universities. Concepción currently has four traditional universities:


Concepción is home of five professional football teams:

Basketball is also played at a high professional level. The most notable team is:

Twin cities


External links

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