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The Chile Portal

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Chile (/ˈɪli/ (About this soundlisten), /ˈɪl/; Spanish: [ˈtʃile]), officially the Republic of Chile (RepChile.ogg), is a country in western South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Chile covers an area of 756,096 square kilometres (291,930 sq mi) and has a population of 17.5 million as of 2017. The capital and largest city is Santiago and the national language is Spanish.

Chile borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Isla Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica under the Chilean Antarctic Territory.

Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule, but failing to conquer the independent Mapuche who inhabited what is now south-central Chile. After declaring independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic. In the 19th century, Chile saw significant economic and territorial growth, ending Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern territory in the War of the Pacific (1879–83) after defeating Peru and Bolivia. In the 1960s and 1970s, the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil. This development culminated with the 1973 Chilean coup d'état that overthrew Salvador Allende's democratically elected left-wing government and instituted a 16-year right-wing military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing. The regime ended in 1990 after a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a center-left coalition which ruled until 2010.

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El Laco is a volcanic complex in the Antofagasta Region of Chile. It is directly south of the Cordón de Puntas Negras volcanic chain. Part of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, it is a group of seven stratovolcanoes and a caldera. It is about two million years old. The main summit of the volcano is a lava dome called Pico Laco, which is variously reported to be 5,325 metres (17,470 ft) or 5,472 metres (17,953 ft) high. The edifice has been affected by glaciation, and some reports indicate that it is still fumarolically active.

The volcano is known for its magnetite-containing lava flows of enigmatic origin. In total, there are four lava flows and two dykes, as well as a formation of uncertain nature. In addition to lava flow structures, pyroclastics containing iron ore are also found within the complex. The magmas formed within a magma chamber with a volume of about 30 cubic kilometres (7.2 cu mi); whether the iron-rich lavas are native magnetite lavas or were formed by hydrothermal processes acting on regular rock is under debate. After their discovery in 1958, these iron deposits have been mined. Similar deposits of volcanic iron ore exist in Australia, Chile, and Iran. Read more...

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Bust of Lautaro

Lautaro (Mapudungun: Lef-Traru "swift hawk") (Spanish pronunciation: [lawˈtaɾo]; 1534? – April 29, 1557) was a young Mapuche toqui known for leading the indigenous resistance against Spanish conquest in Chile and developing the tactics that would continue to be employed by the Mapuche during the long-running Arauco War. Lautaro was captured by Spanish forces in his early youth, and he spent his teenage years as a personal servant of chief conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, but escaped in 1551. Back among his people he was declared toqui and led Mapuche warriors into a series of victories against the Spanish, culminating in the Battle of Tucapel in December 1553, where Pedro de Valdivia was killed. The outbreak of a typhus plague, a drought and a famine prevented the Mapuche from taking further actions to expel the Spanish in 1554 and 1555. Between 1556 and 1557, a small group of Mapuche commanded by Lautaro attempted to reach Santiago to liberate the whole of Central Chile from Spanish rule. Lautaro's attempts ended in 1557 when he was killed in an ambush by the Spanish.

Today, Lautaro is revered among Mapuche and non-Mapuche Chileans for his resistance against foreign conquest, servitude and cruelty. Read more...

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The gun trials of the Brazilian dreadnought Minas Geraes, the ship that began the dreadnought race. Here, all guns capable of training to the port side were fired, forming what was at that time the heaviest broadside ever fired off a warship.

A naval arms race among Argentina, Brazil and Chile—the most powerful and wealthy countries in South America—began in the early twentieth century when the Brazilian government ordered three dreadnoughts, formidable battleships whose capabilities far outstripped older vessels in the world's navies.

By the turn of the twentieth century, the Brazilian Navy was inferior to its Argentine and Chilean rivals in quality and total tonnage. It had added few new warships in the last decade and a half, and the recent Argentine–Chilean naval arms race had filled those navies with modern vessels. To address the naval imbalance, in 1904 the Brazilian legislature voted to allocate new income from coffee and rubber towards addressing the naval imbalance. The proponents of this strategy believed that a strong navy would play an essential part in making the country into an international power. Read more...
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