Faced with the threat of new huilliche Mapuche uprisings and given the population growth around the Plaza de Valdivia, in 1774 it was decided to defend the two main access points. El Torreón Los Canelos, located on the southern flank of Valdivia, was built the same way as “del Barro” 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 site plan of Enrique Siemsen of 1853 shows Torreón Los Canelos at the west of the church and mission of San Francisco and above the north-south axis of Los Canelos street, which is known as General Lagos today. This street connected the center of the city with the lower neighborhoods of the south, until it reached the farm called Las Mulatas whose boundaries, in 1792, began in front of the islet and extended to the river Angachilla, including an island in the middle of the river of the same name.
Guarda, G. 1973. La economía de Chile austral antes de la colonización alemana: 1645-1850. Universidad Austral de Chile. Valdivia, Chile.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.
Support for content and editing: Simon Urbina, archaeologist DM UACH