Concepción, Chile

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Concepción (About this sound pronunciation ) is a city in Chile, capital of Concepción Province and of the Biobío Region or Region VIII. Greater Concepción (Gran Concepción, including Talcahuano, San Pedro de la Paz, Hualpén, Chiguayante, Penco, Tomé, Lota, Coronel, Hualqui and Concepción) is the second-largest conurbation in the country, with 889,725 inhabitants (2002 census). Individually, it is the 11th largest commune in the country, with a population of 212,003.

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History

Concepción was founded by Pedro de Valdivia[FN 1] in 1550 north of the Bío-Bío River, at the site which is today known as Penco. At that time it was given the name Concepción del Nuevo Extremo. The new settlement of Concepción was just a few kilometers north of La Frontera (The Frontier), the boundary between Spanish territory and the land of the Mapuche, an American Indian ethnic group that remained independent until the 1870s. The settlement was formally recognized by the Spanish authorities as a town two years later by a royal decree. It was given a coat-of-arms that is still in use today.

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