Located 68 km from Concepción, this city was founded in 1585, and was a cutting-edge fort on destroyed on various occasions, until its final foundation in 1648, It has a population 20,460.
The city comes to live every 20 January and 20 March for the celebration of St Sebastian. The Sanctuary, built in 1856, houses an ancient image of the saint which dates from 1663.
Santuario San Sebastián
A beautiful cedar-wood polychrome image, 75cm high, has been on the altar of the Catholic Temple of Yumbel since 1663, brought to Yumbel by the Spanish in 1655, which represents the distinguished martyr of the primitive church, St Sebastian.
This true historical relic is worshipped with profound faith and devotion every year on the 20 January and 20 March, forming the main popular, religious festival of the region of the Bío Bío, and is why the city of Yumbel has for centuries been considered a city of sanctuary.
The rise in devotion and the beginnings of the first pilgrimages date precisely from 1878, when the fame of the saint’s day spread beyond the frontiers of Yumbal and the region, throughout Chile and abroad.
These days it attracts close to a million pilgrims and tourists ever year.
History of Yumbel
Geographically situated according to the basic rules of military fortification and self-defense during the Conquest and the War of Arauco, Yumbel is located between two channels of water, today known as Yumbel Brook to the East, Bermejo Brook through the North, and on the South side is cerro Centinela, forming the look-out point, that made it possible to see the movement of people from a great distance. Since its birth to the present date it has had seven foundations.
In 1984, during preparations for the celebration of the fourth centenary of the city, it was decided to commemorate this occasion on the day of 16 March, being the day and month in which the Supreme Decree was passed to appoint it a city, and 1585 being the year in which the first fort was built marking the beginnings of the city.
Places to Visit in the City of Yumbel:
Templo San Sebastián
Located in calle Castellón between Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins and General Cruz, on the north side of the Plaza de Armas. This is a place of historical significance and devotion to St Sebastian.
Plaza de Armas
Found in the center of the city between calles Castellón, General Cruz, Pedro de Valdivia and Avenida Bernardo O’Higgins.
Balneario Río Claro
3 km south of Yumbel, on the road to Los Ángeles.
Obras de Río Claro
Located 5 km from Yumbel towards Mount Águila. There are both native and exotic flora here, and also private camping sites. The main economy of the region is the manufacturing of bricks in the traditional style.
Places to visit around Yumbel:
Located close to Salto del Laja and Route 5 South. This area contains a variety of historic, rural, gastronomic and scenic attractions.
Located 21 km east of Yumbel.
Its main characteristic is the rural setting of the town and the surrounding area. One of its main activities is the sale of high-quality farm-produced products, such as pulses and honey. The hills that surround it provide beautiful landscapes, a wonderful place for hiking, meditation and photography, amongst other things.
Located 16 km southeast of Yumbel.