Quiriquina Island

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Quiriquina Island
Native name:
Isla Quiriquina
Coordinates36°37′33″S 73°03′39″W / 36.625768°S 73.060805°W / -36.625768; -73.060805Coordinates: 36°37′33″S 73°03′39″W / 36.625768°S 73.060805°W / -36.625768; -73.060805
Adjacent bodies of waterPacific ocean
Total islands1
Area4.86 km2 (1.88 sq mi)[1]
Length5.3 km (3.29 mi)[2]
Width1.6 km (0.99 mi)[2]
Highest point120[1]
RegionBío Bío
Additional information
NGA UFI -898520

Quiriquina Island, Chile is located at the entrance to the Bay of Concepción, 11 km north of Talcahuano. (Quiriquina is a Mapuche word meaning "many True thrushes").

In April, 1557, Don Garcia de Mendoza, Spanish governor of the Captaincy General of Chile, arrived at Concepción with a large force of infantry and established himself upon Quiriquina. He then used it as a base for his campaign against the Mapuche in the continuing Arauco War.

In 1835, shortly after earthquake in the nearby city of Concepción, Charles Darwin, voyaging around the world on board HMS Beagle, visited the island.

During the First World War the Chilean government used Quiriquina to intern the crew of the German cruiser SMS Dresden. Then-lieutenant Wilhelm Canaris, who escaped with two other crew members, was among the internees.

After the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, the Pinochet regime used the island as a concentration camp for political prisoners from Concepción and the Bío Bío Region. This camp was active from 11 September 1973 to April 1975.[2]

On the northwest of the island there is a lighthouse. To the southeast there is Fort Rondizzoni, which consisted of dormitories, mess facilities, latrines, and an infirmary, all for the guards.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b According to website Auf der Insel Quiriquina on 14 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Derechos Chile website about Quiriquina's use as concentration camp, Quiriquina Island Archived December 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved on 14 February 2013
  3. ^ Memoria viva website about Quiriquina's use as concentration camp, Quiriquina Island, retrieved on 14 February 2013