Earthquakes have battered Chillán throughout its turbulent history, so most of its colonial charm was bulldozed away decades ago. But, away from the sweeping concrete shopping precincts of the city center, it does have its appeal. As the birthplace of Chilean liberator Bernardo O'Higgins, the city boasts an interesting history, as well as a bustling, colorful outdoor market, one of Chile´s best. Founded in 1565 as a military outpost, it marked the northern border of La Frontera, an area over which the state never exercised complete control until the Mapuche were subdued in the late 19th century. Destroyed by earthquakes and Mapuche sieges, Chillán was refounded several times before moving to its present site in 1835. However, the old city, nearby Chillán Viejo, never really died.