History of Temuco

Located in the Araucanía Region, 670 kilometers south of the City of Santiago, Temuco is a booming center. Founded on February 24, 1881, its origin resulted from the beauty of the Cautín River and the surrounding hills and also to the need to build a fort that was then named after Manuel Recabarren –Chilean Secretary of the Interior- or Temuco (“temu water” in the Mapuche tongue).

After building forts and roads in the southern territories, around two thousand expedition members followed the trails by the Cautín River and founded this city. In those days, the Chilean state would negotiate and fight over land and sovereignty with various portions of the Mapuche people, which was divided into those who accepted or rejected the conditions proposed by the government of Santiago.

The almost three hundred years during which the struggles of both bands prevented the Spaniards first and the Chilean later from occupying the southern lands were left behind. Nevertheless, its military origin did not matter when the colonists began to turn this settlement into a hardworking town that came to be the capital of the region.

Thus, before the twentieth century finally arrived, the city already had 10 thousand denizens, its town hall and, of course, its railway, which remarkably favored the growth of Temuco.

The successive European migrations, in particular from France and Germany, which joined the Mapuche majority, caused its population to increase incesantly and gain multi ethnic traits.

At present, the dwellers of Temuco surpass 275 thousand and it is a city that functions as the seat of some of the best known furniture industries in the world. Besides, it has the largest commercial center in southern Chile.