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Chillán Viejo commune (Chile)

Municipalidad de Chillán Viejo

Last modified: 2019-10-12 by randy young
Keywords: chillán viejo | coat of arms: per mantel | diguillín province | ñuble region | chile |
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[Chillán Viejo flag]
image by Jens Pattke, 17 January 2004

See also:

About the flag

The symbols of Chillán Viejo are presented on a dedicated page of the municipal website.

The flag of Chillán Viejo is prescribed by Municipal Decree No. 754 of 30 September 1997. Since Chillán Viejo is the birth place of Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme, the father of the national independence, the flag uses the national colours, placed horizontally, from top to bottom blue, white, and red. The municipal coat of arms is placed in the middle of the white stripe. The municipality displays its flag in public ceremonies, on buildings and goods, to recall the historical and cultural value of the town as "The Cradle of the Fatherland."
Ivan Sache, 23 July 2009
Source: Municipal website

Municipal arms

The symbols of Chillán Viejo are presented on a dedicated page of the municipal website.

The coat of arms of Chillán Viejo is prescribed by Municipal Decree No. 207 of 2 April 1997. The shield is divided per fess and grafted in base, 1. Gule a bend or, 2. Azure a lion rampant in chief dexter a mullet or, 3. Sable three towers argent. The shield surmonted with a mural crown made of eight towers, four towers or masoned sable being actually visible. A scroll or placed under the shield bears the writing "Chillán Viejo."

The first quarter represents the arms of the Amunátegui brothers (Miguel Luis Amunátegui Aldunate [1828-1888] and Gregorio Víctor Amunátegui Aldunate [1830-1899]), two historians involved in the evolution of the republic. The second quarter comes from the arms of Ortiz de Rozas, the refounder of Chillán (as the first quarter of the family arms, representing the Ortiz ancestral lineage). The third quarter comes from the arms of Bernardo O'Higgins (the complete O'Higgins arms are "Argent a semy of tears sable a fess sable three towers argent"). The crown is a tribute to the founders of the San Bartolomé de Chillán Fort.

The municipality uses the coat of arms in public ceremonies, on municipal buildingsand goods and on tis official seal.
Ivan Sache, 23 July 2009
Source: Municipal website

About the municipality

The municipality of Chillán Viejo (26,172 inhabitants; 29,200 ha), is located in the Ñuble Province, Biobío Region. Founded on river Chillán, together with Fort San Bartolomé, in 1580 by Martín Ruiz de Gamboa, the town was totally destroyed by the Chiquillanes in 1646 and refounded in 1655 in the place know today as "El Bajo" (The Bottom). In 1751, an earthquake suppressed the town and changed the course of the river, forcing the inhabitants to move upwards; the new settlement was named the same year the town of Chillán by Governor of Chile (1746-1755) Domingo Ortiz de Rosas (1683-1756). In 1835, yet another earthquake caused President of the Republic José Joaquín Prieto to relocate the town downwards; Chillán was divided in Old ("Chillán Viejo") and New ("Chillán") Chillán, two boroughs that subsequently experienced a contrasted growth. Erected as an independent municipality in the late 1880s, Chillán Viejo was reincorporated in 1915 to Chillán following municipal mismanagement.

Chillán Viejo was proclaimed an independent municipality in 1996 by President of the Republic Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle. Since then, the municipality has been known as "The Cradle of the Fatherland," as the birth place of General Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme (1778-1842). Considered as one of the heroes of the Chilean independance, O'Higgins was appointed Supreme Director of the Nation on 16 February 1817; the Act of Independence of Chili was signed on 2 February 1818. Deposed by a conservative coup on 28 January 1823, O'Higgins exiled to Peru where he supported the Peruvian independence. Eventually rehabilitated and invited to come back to Chile, O'Higgins was too ill to travel and died in Lima.
Ivan Sache, 23 July 2009
Source: Municipal website

With the elevation of Ñuble from a province to a region in June 2018, Chillán Viejo is now part of Diguillín Province, Ñuble Region.
Randy Young, 11 October 2019