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Among Galleons and Cannons

 Estimated reading time: 4 min.Texts Photos Marcelo SolaTexts Photos Marcelo Sola
Corral Fort

The Corral castle or fort was founded in 1645 according to the blueprints plotted by the Royal Navy Head Engineer Don Constantino Vasconcelos, who gave it a strategic location to defend the backwater of the harbor, as it was one of the most important points in the bay.
Forts and Castles in Valdivia (page 2)
It had two names: San Esteban and San Sebastián de la Cruz, and it contained the largest number of cannons in the whole defensive area: a total of 21 large-bore cannons.
Forts and Castles in Valdivia (page 2)
It was early walled with cancagua stone obtained from local quarries. It was separate from solid ground by a wide deep moat.
When going inside, you will appreciate the sentry box, the pillory area, the original cannons and people dressed as Spanish soldiers performing a historical recreation of various events that took place inside the castle walls.
Beholding the endless horizon spreading along the Pacific Ocean from its walls is a relaxing experience.
Forts and Castles in Valdivia (page 2)
Mancera Fort

This is the first fort in the defensive system. It was raised in 1645 on the Mancera Island under the name of San Pedro de Alcántara. Also planned by the Royal Navy Head Engineer Don Constantino Vasconcelos, its characteristics quite differ from those of the Corral Fort.
Forts and Castles in Valdivia (page 2)
From the strategic point of view, this has one of the best locations, as it is nestled on the only island located in the middle of the bay.
When going around it, some remains from its main castle, the castellan’s house, the guard body, the entrance watchtower, the gun-powder store and the San Antonio church, built in 1748, outstand. This temple used to have a high choir, a sacristy, vaulted niches and a pulpit. The Jesuits sculpted the front of the façade with a baroque-guaraní architectural style. It is possible to see part of this work in the upper right angle, next to the cornice of the church.
Forts and Castles in Valdivia (page 2)
Furthermore, you can go down to the gun-powder store and admire the inside of the vault, where there is a latticed skylight in the upper part, which acted as a ventilation duct for the arsenal.
San Pedro de Alcántara is a site where you can appreciate the nice architecture of the time, feel the cultural influence through its walls and recall part of the Spanish conquest around these latitudes.
Forts and Castles in Valdivia (page 2)
Useful Data
In the summer, from November 1st to March 31st, from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 7pm. In the winter, from April 1st to October 31st, from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 5pm.
Respect the signals and the directions given by the fort staff at all times.
Kids must be constantly under the supervision of a responsible adult.
No photographs with flash may be taken in the inside of the forts, as this causes damages to objects.
No walking or climbing on the historical remains. Do not remove cultural elements.
Do not get or sit on the cannons.
Do not drink alcoholic beverages in the fort grounds.
Patagonia Adventure Center
Los Castellanos s/n (5090000) Valdivia - XIV Región - Chile
Tel: +56 63 228-2154  
Inter Patagonia

Level of Difficulty
45 minutes in each fort.
Tour Kind
Other Characteristics
Useful DataUseful Data


The Viewpoint

“My name is Néstor, and it is an honor for me to commemorate the life that the Spanish soldiers led in the Corral Fort. Together with a group of actors, we perform a historical representation of the various facts that occurred inside these ancient walls. We command the cannons of those days to be prepared and aim at an imaginary pirate ship, or form the squad to pay tribute to our motherland flag – Spain- or make a parade before thousands of tourists who watch the show astonished. The best part of all this that I am telling you is what happens at the end of the show. Thousands of enthusiasts give us their applause; the flashes from the cameras do not stop; and it is then when we realize that all the effort and rehearsals were really worth it. Come and see us. We will be expecting you.”

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