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Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the municipality of the same name, in Region VIII (the Biobío region), in the center-south of  Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123.445 inhabitants (census 2002). The municipality ("comuna") of Los Ángeles has the highest absolute rural population of any Chilean municipality.


To the north of the city is Salto del Laja (Laja Fallsmarker), and roughly 100 kilometers to the east is the 2,979 meter high (9,774 ft) Antucomarker volcano, in the Andes mountain range. The city is a major gateway for tourists visiting nearby Laguna del Laja National Parkmarker, home to the mentioned volcano.

History

Founded as Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles in 1739 by José Antonio Manso de Velasco, it was originally a Spanishmarker fort as an outpost in the War of Arauco. It received the title of villa in 1748. The city underwent numerous rebuildings, due to the Spanish military campaigns against the native Mapuche in their efforts to colonize the area. Its geographic location, just to the north of the Biobío river (the border established by the Spaniards), made it a strategic location.

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