History of San Julián

The City of Puerto San Julián was founded in 1784 and declared historical site in 1943, by commemorating the celebration of the first mass in Argentina, which was held at that very spot when Ferdinand Magellan discovered these lands in 1520.

By 1577 approximately, the expedition tradition of Puerto San Julián began when the English privateer known as Francis Drake secretly set sail from Plymouth to these lands, where he expected to assault and plunder all the Spanish and Portuguese ships that might cross his way. As the relationships between Spain and England went well at the time, the expedition was carried out in the most absolute secrecy. In June the same year, he landed at San Julián and resolved to spend the winter with his crew at that very location.

Already in 1741, while Spain and England were at war, the English sent out another expedition, this time led by George Anson. It comprised a fleet of seven ships and a crew of 2,000 sailors. Thus, and already deprived of the itch caused by peace with Spain, England resolved to plunder and take any Spanish possession that might cross its path. But this time, the force that ruined the plan was not human but a strong tempest that caused the mission to fail and remain as a simple anecdote.

Once again, the weather played a dirty trick on the visitors to these lands who were searching to colonize it in 1780, when Antonio de Viedma landed there with the purpose of populating the territory. However, the wind and the search for fresh water caused the main objective to change.

It was Domingo Basavilbaso who had a first approach to the economic exploitation of these lands in 1752 through the extraction of salt at the Cabo Curioso salt deposit. But it was not until 1780 that the colony known as Nueva Colonia de Florida Blanca was founded. This district, nestled 10 kilometers away from what is known today as Puerto San Julián, was founded by command of Viceroy Vertiz on November 1, that year. Nevertheless, it did not last long as in 1784 (when Puerto San Julián was finally founded) the 200 families that made up the new population were forced to abandon the site because it was not sustainable.

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