Rancagua

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Rancagua, Chile
City and Commune
View of Rancagua, Caceres Street (Calle Caceres) in Clinica Salud Integral
View of Rancagua, Caceres Street (Calle Caceres) in Clinica Salud Integral
Coat of arms of Rancagua, Chile
Coat of arms
Map of Rancagua commune in O'Higgins Region
Map of Rancagua commune in O'Higgins Region
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Rancagua, Chile
Location in Chile
Coordinates (city): 34°10′S 70°45′W / 34.167°S 70.750°W / -34.167; -70.750Coordinates: 34°10′S 70°45′W / 34.167°S 70.750°W / -34.167; -70.750
Region O'Higgins Region
Province Cachapoal Province
Foundation October 5, 1743
Government
 • Type Municipality
 • Alcalde Eduardo Soto
Area[1]
 • Total 260.3 km2 (100.5 sq mi)
Elevation 572 m (1,877 ft)
Population (2012 Census)[1]
 • Total 232,211
 • Density 890/km2 (2,300/sq mi)
 • Urban 206,971
 • Rural 7,373
Sex[1]
 • Men 104,879
 • Women 109,465
Time zone CLT (UTC−4)
 • Summer (DST) CLST (UTC−3)
Postal code 2820000
Area code(s) 56 (country) + 72 (city)
Website Official website (Spanish)

Rancagua (Spanish pronunciation: [raŋˈkaɣwa]) is a city and commune in central Chile and part of the Rancagua conurbation. It is the capital of the Cachapoal Province and of the O'Higgins Region, located 87 km (54 mi) south of the national capital of Santiago. Its first name was Santa Cruz de Triana. In 2012, its population was 232,211.[1] The main economic activities range from mining, tourism, agriculture, timber, food production and services to minor industrial activities. The city also serves as the administrative and legal center of the region.

History[edit]

Rancagua was founded by José Antonio Manso de Velasco, who founded several cities in the central area of Chile. The city's original name was Villa Santa Cruz de Triana. However, before the Spaniards arrived the area was inhabited by local Picunche tribes and had also fallen briefly under the control of the Inca Empire, whose traces can still be found near the city today.[2]

The city is famous in Chilean history as the scene of the Disaster of Rancagua of 1814, when Chilean forces fighting for independence from Spain were defeated, marking the beginning of the period known as the Reconquista (Reconquest, an attempt by Spain to regain control of Chile).

In the wake of the February 27, 2010 earthquake, Cuba set up a temporary hospital in the city with a medical brigade of 27 doctors and 9 staff.[3]

Today[edit]

Rancagua train station.

In recent years the city has become one of the most attractive cultural and tourist centers in the O'Higgins Region, mainly due to the vineyards in the area. There are also some archeological sites such as Pukara de La Compañia and the nearby Rio Cipreses nature reserve, both of which can be visited by private vehicle or with local tour companies. Rancagua also offers sports centers and easy access to smaller villages and towns.

The city is connected to Santiago by the Panamerican Highway (Chile Route 5), and the Metrotren connects the metro service in Santiago to Rancagua by train.

Rancagua is home of the University of Rancagua, the first private university to be established in the O'Higgins Region.

Rancagua is also known for El Teniente, the "largest underground copper mine in the world",[4] located about 40 km (25 mi) to the east of the city in the Andes mountain range. El Teniente is a division of the state-owned mining enterprise, Codelco.

The city's Braden Copper Stadium was one of the four venues of the 1962 football (soccer) World Cup. More recently, it houses the O'Higgins professional soccer club, one of the leading teams in Chilean professional soccer. Every year, the National Championship of Chilean rodeo is held in the Medialuna Monumental de Rancagua.

Demographics[edit]

People of Rancagua in the Stations of the Cross ceremony.

The population of Rancagua is primarily either of Spanish descent or mestizo, with a particularly strong Basque influence. However, there are also Chileans of German, Croatian, Italian, Greek, Levantine Arab, Swiss, French, English or Irish ancestry living in the city,[5] as well as indigenous Mapuche migrant workers from the south [1] and some Roma gypsies. Furthermore, the city has seen increasing immigration from neighbouring South American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.[1] According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Rancagua spans an area of 260.3 km2 (101 sq mi) and has 214,344 inhabitants (104,879 men and 109,465 women). Of these, 206,971 (96.6%) lived in urban areas and 7,373 (3.4%) in rural areas. The population grew by 14.4% (27,020 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.[1]

Notable people born in Rancagua[edit]

  • Germán Riesco (1854–1916), President of Chile between 1901 and 1906.
  • Lucho Gatica, bolero singer.
  • Óscar Castro Zúñiga (1910–1947), renowned poet, novelist and short story writer.
  • José Victorino Lastarria (1817–1888), writer and politician.
  • Mariano Díaz, photographer, graphic designer, and writer.

Administration[edit]

As a commune, Rancagua is a third-level administrative division of Chile, administered by a municipal council and headed by an alcalde who is directly elected every four years.

Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Rancagua is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Mr. Alejandro García-Huidobro (UDI) and Mr. Juan Luis Castro (PS) as part of the 32nd electoral district, which consists entirely of the Rancagua commune. The commune is represented in the Senate by Andrés Chadwick Piñera (UDI) and Juan Pablo Letelier Morel (PS) as part of the 9th senatorial constituency (O'Higgins Region).

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Rancagua is twinned with:

Photo Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "National Statistics Institute" (in Spanish). Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ Miranda Salas, Felix. Historia de Rancagua. 
  3. ^ Morning Star, "", March 8, 2010 (accessed March 9, 2010)
  4. ^ "Copper Mining in Chile". Copper Investment News. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "About Chile & Its People". O'Higgins Tours. 
  6. ^ El Rancaguino, «Rancagua recibió a sus hermanos de la ciudad coreana de Paju»
  7. ^ Noticiario Local de Extremadura, 1/08/03, «El Ayuntamiento de Miajadas firma un Convenio de colaboración con la localidad chilena de Rancagua.»
  8. ^ "Bielsko-Biała - Partner Cities". © 2008 Urzędu Miejskiego w Bielsku-Białej. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 

External links[edit]