Fuerte Bulnes - Bulnes Fort
Near Punta Arenas - Chile
Since the Portuguese sailor Hernando de Magallanes discovered the Magellan strait in 1520, many famous pirates, buccaneers and Corsairs have sailed through its waters. Among them were Drake, Cavendish, Merick, Dampier, Noort, Anson, Sharp, Davis and Strong.
Under the Government of President Manuel Bulnes it was decided that they should take possession of the Magellan Strait. They organised an expedition that set sail from Chiloé to the strait on the ship Goleta Ancud on May 22nd, 1843. On September 21st, 1843 the Goleta Ancud under orders of Captain Juan Williams took possession of the Magellan Strait and its surrounding lands in the name of the Republic of Chile. On board there were 23 crew including two women.
Fuerte Bulnes (Fort Bulnes) was built by felling native trees with axes under the guidance of the Prussian Bernardo Phillipi. On October 30th 1843, the fort was officially inaugurated with the name Fuerte Bulnes in honour of the President of the time.
In November 1843, Bulnes Fort received its first visits by the native Tehuelches people of the region. A pact of friendship was established through the Christian marriage of the Cacique Centurion (Indian Chief) and his the baptism of four of his children. These four children were named, Manuel Bulnes, Camilo Henriquez, Paula Jaraquemada and Javiera Carrera.
The first road connecting Bulnes Fort and Puente Carrera was built along the coastline amongst the native forest and bush. The Franciscan Father Fray Domingo Passolini, the colony's chaplain, was in charge of the works.
Some photos of the Fort so you know what to expect:
If you found this guide about Fuerte Bulnes near Punta Arenas interesting or useful, let others know about it: