Concepción, Bío Bío Region, Chile

🇨🇱 Concepción is a city and commune in central Chile, and the geographical and demographic core of the Greater Concepción metropolitan area, one of the three major conurbations in the country. It has a significant impact on domestic trade being part of the most heavily industrialised region in the country. It is the seat of the Concepción Province and capital of the Bío Bío Region. It sits about 500 km south of the nation's capital, Santiago.

The city was first settled in the Bay of Concepción, in the zone that would later become the commune of Penco, now part of the Concepción conurbation. The city's demonym, «penquista», comes from the place of its original foundation. The city centre and historic district is located in the Valle de la Mocha (La Mocha Valley), where it relocated after serious damages left by an earthquake.

The origin of Concepción dates back to 1550, when it was founded by Pedro de Valdivia as part of the Spanish Empire, under the name of Concepción de María Purísima del Nuevo Extremo, and was the capital of the Kingdom of Chile between 1565 and 1573, holding the position of military and political centre of the kingdom for the rest of the Chilean colonial period. The city was an important stage for the process of independence of Chile, with lawyer Juan Martínez de Rozas as a key figure. The solemn declaration on the Chilean liberation from the Spanish rule took place at the Plaza de la Independencia. Until the election of Manuel Montt in 1851 as President and a short civil war the same year executive power in independent Chile was dominated by Concepción elites.

The city has a "college town" reputation, since it is home to numerous educational institutions, including the University of Concepción, the University of the Bío Bío, and the Catholic University of the Most Holy Conception. The commune also contains various historical bridges, murals, parks and lakes, as well as important cultural venues such as the Teatro Biobío, the Casa del Arte, the local Natural History Museum, and the Teatro Universidad de Concepción. As part of its touristic offer, it also highlights a variety of bars and entertainment venues that provide an active nightlife to the city.

Economy Historically characterised by a strong manufacturing industry, Concepción has also been a major centre for distribution and services and the financial basis of the regional economy.

Commerce Trade in the city is concentrated in the Plaza Independencia (Independence Square), the pedestrian street Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga (built in 1981), and along the major avenues. One such avenue is the Diego Barros Arana street which has developed into the commercial centre of the city and the region was until 1907 even known as "calle comercio". New commercial centres are being developed around the old central station and the new civic district as a part of the Chilean bicentennial. A considerable percentage of local trade is taking place in settlements around the city, in communes such as Hualpén, Talcahuano and San Pedro de la Paz, where there are bustling shopping centres, such as Mall Plaza del Trébol, and where there is a constant commercial development.

Other commercial spots, related to food, are the Vega Monumental and Mercado Central de Concepción (Central Market of Concepción) places offering various services and agricultural and livestock products.

Image: Judgefloro

Concepción has a population of over 223,574 people. Concepción also forms the centre of the wider Concepción metropolitan area which has a population of over 971,285 people.

Twin Towns – Sister Cities Concepción's sister cities are: 🇦🇷 La Plata, Argentina; 🇦🇷 Rosario, Argentina; 🇦🇷 San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina; 🇧🇷 Cascavel, Brazil; 🇨🇳 Wuhan, China; 🇨🇳 Nanjing, China; 🇪🇨 Guayaquil, Ecuador; 🇲🇽 Monterrey, Mexico; 🇳🇿 Auckland, New Zealand; 🇵🇸 Bethlehem, Palestine.

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