San Carlos de Bariloche
|San Carlos de Bariloche
|• Intendant||Omar Goye|
|Elevation||893 m (2,930 ft)|
|Time zone||ART (UTC−3)|
San Carlos de Bariloche, usually known as Bariloche, is a city in the province of Río Negro, Argentina, situated in the foothills of the Andes on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake and is surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park. After an extensive public works and architectural buildup the city emerged in the 1930s and 1940s as a major tourism centre with ski, trekking and mountaineering facilities apart from numerous restaurants, cafés and chocolate shops. The city has a permanent population of 108,205 according to the 2010 census.
The name Bariloche comes from the Mapudungun word Vuriloche meaning "people from behind the mountain" (vuri = behind, che = people). The Vuriloche pass was used by the Poyas to cross the Andes and was kept secret from the European priests for a long time.
Spanish discovery and missions 
Nahuel Huapi lake was known to Spaniards since the times of the Conquest of Chile. In the summer of 1552–1553, the Governor of Chile Pedro de Valdivia sent Francisco de Villagra to explore the area east of the Andes at the latitudes of the city of Valdivia. Francisco de Villagra crossed the Andes trough Mamuil Malal Pass and headed then south until reaching Limay River in the vicinity of Nahuel Huapi Lake.
Another early Spaniard to visit the zone of Nahuel Huapi Lake was the Jesuit priest Diego de Rosales. Diego de Rosales was ordered to the area by the Governor of Chile Francisco Antonio de Acuña Cabrera y Bayona who was concerned about the unrest of the native Puelches and Poyas after the slave hunting expeditions carried out by Luis Ponce de León in 1649. Diego de Rosales, who beginning at the ruins of Villarica in Chile, crossed the Andes through Mamuil Malal Pass, and then traveled further south along the eastern Andean valleys reached Nahuel Huapi Lake in 1650.
In 1670 Jesuit father Nicolás Mascardi, established in Chiloé Archipelago, entered the area trough Reloncaví Estuary and Todos los Santos Lake to found a mission in the Nahuel Huapi Lake that lasted until 1673. A new mission at the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake was established in 1703 this time counting with financial backing from Potosí thanks to orders from the viceroy of Peru. Historians disagree if the mission belonged to the jurisdiction of Valdivia or Chiloé. According to historic documents it were the Poyas of Nahuelhuapi that requested the mission to be reestablished and did apparently so to forge an alliance with the Spaniards against the Puelche. The mission was again destructed in 1717 due to a disagreement between the Poyas and the superior of the mission who had refused to give a cow to the Poyas. Soon thereafter it was found that five or four people travelling to Concepción had been killed by the Poyas and a punitive expedition was assembled in Calbuco and Chiloé. The punitive expedition, composed of both Spaniards and indios reyunos did not found any Poya.
In 1766 the head of the Mission of Ralún tried to reestablish the mission at Nahuel Huapi; but was ultimately prevented by the suppression of the Society of Jesus in the lands of Spanish Crown in 1767.
Modern settlement 
Despite having stronger connections to Chile than the distant city of Buenos Aires during most of the 19th century the explorations of Francisco Moreno and the campaigns of the Conquest of the Desert bought the area into the claims of the Argentine government which saw it as the natural expansion of the Viedma colony and the Andes as the natural frontier to Chile. In the 1881 border treaty between Chile and Argentina the Nahuel Huapi area was recognised as Argentine.
The modern settlement of Bariloche developed from a shop established by Carlos Wiederhold, a German immigrant that had settled in the area of Lake Llanquihue in Chile. Carlos Weiderhold then crossed the Andes and established a little shop called "La Alemana" (The German) near the present city center.
A small settlement developed around the shop, and by 1895 the settlement was primarily settled by Austrians, Germans, Slovenians, Chileans and Italians from the city of Belluno. It has been claimed that Bariloche got its name after the German Chilean pioneer Carlos Wiederhold. In letters addressed to him, he was erroneously addressed as San Carlos instead of Don Carlos, which is why the city was called San Carlos de Bariloche. Most of the commerce in Bariloche went by the seaport of Puerto Montt in Chile. In 1896 Perito Moreno wrote that it took three days to reach Puerto Montt from Bariloche while traveling to Viedma in the Atlantic coast took "one month or more".
In the 1930s the centre of the city was built to have the appearance of an alpine town ("Little Switzerland") with many buildings made of wood and stone. In 1909 there were 1,250 inhabitants, telegraph, post office, and a road connecting the city with Neuquén. Commerce, however, continued to depend on Chile until the arrival of the railroad in 1934.
Architectural development and tourism 
Between 1935 and 1940, the Directorate of National Parks carried out a number of urban public works, giving the city a distinctive architectural pattern; among them, perhaps the best-known is the Civic Centre.
Bariloche grew from being a centre of cattle trade that relied on commerce with Chile to becoming a tourism centre for the Argentine elite with a cosmopolitan architectural and urban profile. Growth in the city's tourist trade began in the 1930s, when local hotel occupancy grew from 1550 tourists in 1934 to 4000 in 1940. In 1934 Ezequiel Bustillo, then director of the National Parks Direction, contracted his brother Alejandro Bustillo to build several buildings in Iguazú and Nahuel Huapi National Park (Bariloche was the main settlement inside the park). In contrast to subtropical Iguazú National Park, however, temperate Nahuel Huapi National Park was believed to be able to compete with the tourism of Europe and was therefore, along with Bariloche, prioritised by national tourism development planners.
The result of work by Alejandro Bustillo can be seen in the Edificio Movilidad, Plaza Perito Moreno, the neogothic San Carlos de Bariloche Cathedral, and the Llao Llao Hotel. Architect Ernesto de Estrada designed the Civic Centre of Barloche which opened in 1940. The Civic Centre's tuff stone, slate and fitzroya structures include the Domingo Sarmiento Library, the Francisco Moreno Museum of Patagonia, a Museum, the City Hall, the Post Office, the Police Station and the Customs.
Huemul Project 
Tierra del Fuego
|Laguna San Rafael · Los Glaciares
Nahuel Huapi · Torres del Paine
Alberto de Agostini · Tierra del Fuego
Neuquén Province · Río Negro Province
Chubut Province · Santa Cruz Province
Tierra del Fuego Province
During the 1950s, on the small island of Huemul, not far into lake Nahuel Huapi, former president Juan Domingo Perón attempted to secretly build the world's first fusion reactor. Even though the project cost the equivalent of about $300 million modern US dollars, it was never finished, due to the lack of the highly advanced technology that was needed. There were also serious problems with the Austrian Ronald Richter in charge of the project, who many accused of being simply crazy.
The facilities can still nowadays be visited, and are visible from certain locations on the coast.
Nazis in Bariloche 
Bariloche made headlines in the international press in 1995 when it became known as a haven for Nazi war criminals such as the former SS Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke. Priebke had been the director of the German School of Bariloche for many years.
In his 2004 book Bariloche nazi-guía turística, Argentine author Abel Basti claims that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun lived in the surroundings of Bariloche for many years after World War II. The estate of Inalco has been pointed out by Abel Basti as the place that Argentine Nazis chose as Hitler's refuge.
Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler, published by British authors Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams, proposed that Hitler and Eva Braun hid at Hacienda San Ramon, six miles east of Bariloche, until the early 1960s. This account is disputed by other historians.
Tourism, both domestic and international, is the main economic activity of Bariloche, all year around. While popular among Europeans, it is also a very popular attraction for Brazilians. One of the most popular activities is skiing. The most popular season to visit Bariloche is the winter, summer for North Americans and Europeans, and there are regular flights from Buenos Aires with LAN airlines and Aerolíneas Argentinas.
The main ski station is the one at Cerro Catedral. During the summer, beautiful beaches such as Playa Bonita and Villa Tacul welcome sun-bathers and some brave lake swimmers (the waters, from melting snow, are always very cold. Lake Nahuel Huapi averages 14 °C in the summertime). The fishing season is another great attraction. Bariloche is the biggest city of a huge Lakes District, and serves as a base for many excursions in the region. Trekking in the mountains, almost completely wild and uninhabited with the exception of a few high-mountain huts operated by Club Andino Bariloche, is also a popular activity. The city is also famous for its chocolates and Swiss-style architecture.
Besides tourism and the many activities and services associated with it, Bariloche is home of advanced scientific and technological activities. The Centro Atómico Bariloche is a research center of the National Atomic Energy Commission, where basic and applied research in many areas of the physical sciences is carried out. Inside it, the Instituto Balseiro, a higher education institution of the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, with a small and carefully selected number of students, awards degrees in Physics, and in Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering, and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Physics and in Engineering. The city also hosts INVAP, a high technology company that designs and builds nuclear reactors, state-of-the-art radars and space satellites, among other projects.
The private non profit organization Bariloche Foundation, continues the tradition of scientific research in the city. Started in 1963, it promotes postgraduate teaching and research. There are also several departments and laboratories at the National University of Comahue.
Climate and geography 
Bariloche has a cool Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) with dry, windy summers and rainy winters, which grades to an alpine subpolar oceanic climate at higher altitudes. Generally speaking, the summer season (mid-December to early March) is characterized by long stretches of windy, sunny weather, with pleasant afternoons of 18 to 26 °C (64 to 79 °F) and cold nights of 2 to 9 °C (36 to 48 °F). Autumn brings colder temperatures in March, then stormier weather in April and May. By mid-May the first snows fall, and winter lasts until early September, bringing stormy weather with mixed precipitation (snow, rain, sleet), occasional snowstorms and highs between 0 and 12 °C (32 and 54 °F), lows between −12 and 4 °C (10 and 39 °F). Spring is very windy and variable; temperatures may reach 25 °C (77 °F) in October and then plummet to −6 °C (21 °F) following a late-season snowfall. On average, there are a handful of snowy days between 5 and 15 centimetres (2 and 6 in) every year, and many more days with mixed precipitation. However, there have been extreme snow events in the past that have brought well over a foot of snow (30 cm) to the entire city, and well over a meter in some higher areas.
Within the city limits, several geographic features have an impact on the weather, creating several micro-climates. Generally, the city follows, for over 15 km from east to west, the shores of Nahuel Huapi lake, which is over 10 km wide in front of the city centre and extends over more than 70 km to the northwest, toward Villa La Angostura. West of the city, the fjord known as Brazo Blest extends for another 50 km, and these two features allow strong westerly and northwesterly winds to reach the city. Most central areas and almost all tourist areas are located along the shoreline; they are thus "sandwiched" between higher elevations on the south and the extensive lake at 765 meters above sea level on the north. This position, on a north-facing slope next to open water, creates a moderate micro-climate: during the summer, daytime temperatures very rarely reach over 30 °C, staying most often in the 18 °C to 25 °C range, with nights usually between 2 and 9 °C (36 and 48 °F). During the winter, most days reach between 3 and 9 °C (37 and 48 °F), whilst nights are often between −5 and 4 °C (23 and 39 °F), depending mostly on cloud cover. Snowfall is usually light, and although snow depth can often reach 0.1 metres (4 in) after a snowstorm, it will usually not last more than two or three days. Extreme low temperatures rarely fall below −10 °C (14 °F), although −15 °C (5 °F) may be reached on occasion. The main feature of this area is the strong, westerly winds that sometimes reach over 100 km/h, especially between September and December. Precipitation ranges from over 1,800 millimetres (70 in) at the western end of the city (Llao Llao) to only 600 millimetres (24 in) at the eastern end (Airport).
Right behind the city centre, the area known as "El Alto" forms a plateau at about 900 m of altitude. Being far away from the lake and at a higher altitude, the weather tends to be more extreme, especially in the winter: it is not uncommon to see sleet storms hit the downtown area while El Alto is covered in snow. It is also not unusual to have more extended periods of snow cover (up to one or two weeks at a time), with depths sometimes exceeding 0.2 metres (8 in), and temperatures of −10 °C (14 °F) are frequent. On occasion, temperatures below −18 °C (−0 °F) will also be recorded.
The slopes of Cerro Otto (1405 meters above sea level), right west of the city centre, often have deep snow cover: cross-country skiing and dog sledding can be practiced for a few months every year. The neighbourhood of Villa Catedral, at about 990 meters above sea level, sees colder temperatures and increased snowfall: on the coldest winters, this hub, which serves as the base of a ski resort, can be snow covered through the winter, sometimes with over 50 cm snow (in 2007, accumulations reached 100 cm!). However, on most winters, this condition is only met above 1200 meters, where most of the slopes of the resort are located.
Higher elevations see much colder conditions; the top of Cerro Catedral, 30 km from the city centre, sees snow cover from late April to at least December, with a maximum in early September that usually reaches well over 150 cm (in 2007, over 400 cm were recorded). The tree line is located between 1,600 m (southerly slope) and 1,800 m (northerly slope). Snowstorms occur in the summer as well.
Water temperatures at the Nahuel Huapi lake vary from a high of 14 °C in late summer and a low of 7 °C in early spring. Alpine streams and ponds often have much lower temperatures, and can be frozen for months.
|Climate data for San Carlos de Bariloche|
|Record high °C (°F)||35.3
|Average high °C (°F)||21.5
|Daily mean °C (°F)||14.3
|Average low °C (°F)||6.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−5.7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||22.2
|Avg. precipitation days||5||5||6||8||15||15||15||14||10||8||6||5||112|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||347.2||277.2||251.1||186.0||136.4||111.0||117.8||155.0||192.0||251.1||309.0||334.8||2,668.6|
|Source #1: Servico Meteorológico Nacional, NOAA (extremes and sun)|
|Source #2: Secretaria de Mineria|
The city is served by San Carlos de Bariloche International Airport (IATA BRC/ICAO SAZS) equipped to receive any kind of aircraft. Several of Argentina's most important airlines maintain regular flights to Bariloche, as well as some international lines from neighbouring countries, especially during the ski season. The city is linked by train with the city of Viedma through the Tren Patagonico that crosses Argentina from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean.
The city has a terminal railway station that links it to Viedma.
Bariloche is home of the army's "12° Regimiento de Infantería de Montaña" (12th Mountain Infantry Regiment), where military personnel is instructed on mountainous conditions, including combat, survival or even skiing. It is usual for the Regiment to receive infantry from other parts of the country and train them. Furthermore, the Escuela Militar de Montaña, the mountain warfare school of the Argentine Army is located in Bariloche.
The Andean Club Bariloche (Spanish: Club Andino Bariloche-CAB) was co-organiser of the 1st and the 3rd South American Ski Mountaineering Championships.
Sister cities 
See also 
- Urbina, Ximena (2008). "The frustrated strategic mission of Nahuelhuapi, a point in Patagonia's inmensity". Magallania 36 (1): 5–30.
- Hanisch, Walter. 1974. Historia de la Compañía de Jesús en Chile. p. 33.
- Touristic policy in XXth century Argentina
- Dewsbury, Rick; Hall, Allan; Harding, Eleanor (18 October 2011). "New book claims Hitler and Eva Braun fled Berlin and died (divorced) of old age in Argentina". London: The Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Climate figures, Servico Meteorológico National, Accessed 31 December 2012
- "BARILOCHE AERO Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Provincia de Rio Negro - Clima Y Meteorologia: Datos Meteorologicos Y Pluviometicos" (in Spanish). Secretaria de Mineria de la Nacion (Argentina). Retrieved April 7, 2013.
- http://www.ejercito.mil.ar/sitio/_noticias/noticia_full.asp?Id=814 (Spanish), Argentine Army.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: San Carlos de Bariloche|
- (Spanish)/(English) Bariloche Official Website
- Bariloche Turismo - Sitio Web Oficial
- Bariloche travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Bariloche on Lonely Planet