Faced with the threat of new Mapuche-Huilliche uprisings and given the population growth around the Plaza de Valdivia (Valdivia’s Main square), in 1774 it was decided to defend the two main access points. The Torreón del Barro, located on the eastern flank of Valdivia was built, like Los Canelos, with lime and bricks provided by the factories in the island of Valenzuela -today Teja island-.
It was declared a historical monument in 1926, and it was subject to various uses during centuries after its construction. Apart from being used as a defense building, it was used as a maximum security cell in the early nineteenth century, as pillory of justice in 1822, as windmill in 1834, and as gunpowder warehouse in 1853. The Torreón el Barro or Torreón Picarte is located on the extension of the current homonymous street, in the south of the riverbank Calle-Calle. It is indicated in the site plan of Enrique Siemsen of 1853, on one side of the “road to Osorno”, also known as the old road El Barro o Cantarranas, from which two roads diverged, one towards the east to Arique, upstream Calle-Calle river, and another heading south, crossing the river Angachilla towards the Futa River.
Guarda, G. 1973. La economía de Chile austral antes de la colonización alemana: 1645-1850. Universidad Austral de Chile. Valdivia, Chile.
Guarda, G. 2001. Nueva Historia de Valdivia. Ediciones Universidad Católica, Santiago.
Guarda, G. 1990. Flandes Indiano. Las Fortificaciones del Reino de Chile 1541-1826. Ediciones Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago. Urbina, S., L. Adán y C. Chamorro. 2015. Materiales constructivos arqueológicos en el área fundacional de Valdivia. Manuscrito posesión del autor. Proyecto FONDECYT 1130730
Text editing and support: Simon Urbina, archaeologist DM UACH