Our Republic plaza it is located where it used to be a palín field (Mapudungun for hockey, Mapuche´s language). During the colonial days it was called Plaza Mayor, being the most important of all the 5 plazas that constitute the urban plant of the city and since 1820 it’s known by its actual name.
Plaza Mayor was a place of constant gathering like religious and lay celebrations, public acts, and so on. Besides all this, the plaza also acted like a market where you could exchange products that were cultivated in the ranches nearby. Additionally, it was a shelter for neighbors and outsiders that were facing any calamity; all this attributes were appreciated by the Dutch during their stay in 1643.
After the refoundation of Valdivia by the Spanishs in 1647, the plaza took again its original purpose that was given by the conqueror in 1552 and as an example of it, in October the 30th of 1810 was the oath to the First Government Meeting. Years later during February 1820, another act took place in the plaza from now on it was called Republic Plaza (Republic Square); it’s worth mention that it is the only Republic plaza in Chile; all the others are called Plaza de Armas.
After the 1909 fire the Plaza was redesigned and new Tilia trees were planted replacing the oaks that have been there since the 80s decade of the XIX century.