In 1552, Don Pedro de Valdivia founded the city of Imperial in honor of king Charles V by the river Cautín, 55 km. west from the present location of Temuco, where Carahue is today.
During the conquest, it was one of the most prosperous cities. Francisco de Villagra was appointed governor when P. de Valdivia died.
The Imperial City developed and reached great prestige during almost fifty years, during which the displaced Mapuche people gained cohesion, learned fighting techniques, and exercised more pressure on the settled cities.
In 1599 the Mapuches commanded by Pelantaru, rose in rebellion and razed houses, stores and mills, the people of Imperial had to abandon the city and emigrated to the north of the river Bio Bio, where the new frontier was established.
During 282 years this situation was consolidated by the Mapuchepopulation, until the war of the Pacific and the railway, which the government wanted to use to join all the discontinuous territory, advanced over the south and founded forts up to the river Toltén. On 24th February 1881, Temuco's fort was built by the river Cautín. In 1883, the first foreign colonists arrived, and in 1894 there were some 7000 people of different nationalities. Today the population reaches 280.000 inhabitants.
In 1893, the train arrived at Temuco and produced an important development.
In the countyside, colonists cleaned up the jungle and occupied the land bid by the government, and always carrying a gun, defended their lots against bandids.
The communication established by bridges and railroad tracks has been preserved up to the present.