is a city
in northern Chile
, capital of the Coquimbo Region
. Founded in 1544, it is the country's second oldest city after the national capital, Santiago
, located to the south. It has a communal population of 190,716 (2006 projection, and 400,000 for the Greater La Serena
) area, the country's fourth largest conurbation (pop. 300,000, 2002 census), which includes nearby Coquimbo
. and an area of . It is one of the fastest-growing areas of Chile, witnessing a population increase of 32.6% between 1992 and 2002.
The city is an important tourist destination, especially during the summer, where people go to visit the beaches. It is in the headquarters of the University of La Serena
and also is home to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of La Serena
, one of five Catholic Archdiocese of Chile.
The sector is currently located where the city was inhabited by the pre-Hispanic village called Viluma or Vilumanque (Mapudungún
Snakes and condors).
La Serena was first founded on the orders of Spanish Pedro de Valdivia
in order to provide a sea link to maintain permanent contact between Santiago and Lima
in the Viceroyalty of Peru
. For this he would need a place for his troops to rest and eat. The village was first founded by captain Juan Bohón
with the name "Villanueva de La Serena
". Although the exact date is disputed, probable dates include November 15 or December 30, 1543 and September 4, 1544. Many historians... Read More