A S. Province Of Chili, bordering on the province of Arauco, the Andes (which separate it from the Argentine Republic and Patagonia), Llanquihue, and the Pacific ocean; area, 10,700 sq. m.; pop. in 1875, 37,481. There are many fine harbors on the coast. On the E. border are several active volcanoes, of which Villarica is the highest. The surface between the sea and the Andes is generally more level than that of other parts of Chili. The most important streams are the Cauten or Imperial, Tolten, Valdivia, and Rio Bueno. The soil is exceedingly fertile, and the greater part is covered with forests of excellent timber. The climate is moist, but healthful. Valdivia at one time yielded large quantities of gold, but the system of slavery which the Spaniards attempted to impose upon the natives caused a revolt, which led to the ruin of the mines. About two thirds of the population are Araucanian Indians, and the remainder descendants of the Spaniards and mixed breeds.
A City, capital of the province, on the S. side of the Valdivia river, about 9 m. from the Pacific, and about 470 m. S. of Santiago; lat. 39° 49' S., Ion. 73° 15' W.; pop. in 1875, 4,054, many of whom are Germans. The harbor, a beautiful bay formed by the river, is one of the best on the Pacific. The island of Manzera at the entrance to the river forms two passages, skirted by steep mountains strongly fortified. Its chief trade is with Valparaiso, to which it exports large quantities of timber. It was founded in 1551 by Pedro de Valdivia, became rich and populous, was many times attacked and in 1590 destroyed by the Araucanians, and was rebuilt and strongly fortified. It was taken by the Dutch in 1640, and by the patriots under Lord Cochrane in 1820.