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Concepción (kōnsĕpsēōnˈ) [key], city (1990 est. pop. 306,464), capital of Bío-Bío region, S central Chile, near the mouth of the Bío-Bío River. It is an industrial and commercial center and Chile's third largest city. Its port, Talcahuano, just north of the city, ships the products of the surrounding rich agricultural region. Concepción's industries produce glass, textiles, sugar, lumber, hides, and steel. More than 80% of the country's coal comes from nearby mines. Founded in 1550 by Pedro de Valdivia, the Spanish conqueror of Chile, the city was besieged and destroyed by the Araucanian chief Lautaro in 1554–55. It was completely destroyed by earthquakes in 1570, 1730, 1751, 1835, and 1939 and was severely damaged in 1960 and 2010. Its numerous rebuildings have given Concepción a modern appearance. Points of interest include the Plaza Independencia and a university.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: South American Political Geography

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