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Talcahuano is a municipality and port city in the Bio-Bio Region of Chilemarker. It is part of the Greater Concepciónmarker conurbation.


Talcahuano is located in the south of the central zone of Chilemarker. Together with ten other municipalities, it forms part of the Province of Concepción, which in turn is one of four provinces that forms the VIII Region or Bío-Bío Region.

The municipality of Talcahuano has an area of 148.29 km² and, according to the 2002 Census, has a population of 250,348 inhabitants. With a population density of 1,873 inhabitants per square kilometre, it is the seventh most populated city of the country.


The official foundation date of Talcahuano is November 5, 1764 when Antonio Guill y Gonzaga declared an official port. However, Talcahuano began to appear in history books as early as 1544 when Genoesemarker captain Juan Bautista Pastene discovered the mouth of the Bio-Bío river while exploring the coast in his ships “San Pedro” and “Santiaguillo”. In 1601 Alonso de Ribera built Fort Talcahueno to defend remaining Spanish settlements near Concepciónmarker.
Plaza de Armas De Talcahuano (Central Square)
Center of Talcahuano
The city is named after an Araucanian chief, Talcahueñu, who inhabited the region at the arrival of the Spanish. In Mapudungun, the language of the indigenous Mapuches, Talcahuano means “Thundering Sky”.

The port was well known to American whaleships of the 19th century. They often put in for fresh water, food, and various forms of entertainment for the crews.


Talcahuano contains Chile's main naval base which is home of the historical relic, the Huascármarker, a Peruvian ironclad ship (British-made), which was captured in 1879 during the War of the Pacific. It is also the base of the Chilean submarine fleet and the ASMAR shipyard.



Talcahuano entered football history when Ramón Unzaga Asla, a player for the local club Estrella del Mar, invented the famous bicycle kick (also known as "chilena") there in 1914.

The city is home to Club Deportivo Huachipato, a football club in Chile's Primera División, playing at Estadio Las Higuerasmarker.

In literature

It featured prominently in Miles Smeeton's book Once Is Enough, a sailor's classic.

It is mentioned by the character Charlie Marlow in Joseph Conrad's book Lord Jim.

External links


  1. Once Is Enough, by Miles Smeeton. International Marine Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-07-141431-2

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