The history of Patagonia isn’t very well-known outside of the region—and yet, it has affected most North and South Americans in many ways, primarily because of trade. Visitors can learn more about this history and its far-reaching effects at this center, which features museum exhibits and re-created settler buildings at the edge of the strait. Chief among these is Fort Bulnes (Fuerte Bulnes), a settlement founded in 1843 by a band of 22 settlers on behalf of the Chilean government. The settlers constructed the fort to protect the region from claims made by other countries. Once Punta Arenas was established, the fort was abandoned and destroyed, then rebuilt in the mid-20th century.
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