Valparaíso was named for a village in Cuenca, Spain after Spanish explorers arrived in 1536.
Their ship was the supply ship, "Santiaguillo". Valparaíso became the main harbour for the newly created
Chilean Navy after gaining independence from Spain in 1818. HISTORY
Valparaíso was a desired stopover for ships rounding South America via the Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn. It gained particular importance supporting and supplying the California Gold Rush (1848-1858). In its role as a major seaport, Valparaíso received immigrants from many European countries, mainly from Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy . German, French, Italian and English were commonly spoken among its citizens, who founded and published newspapers in these languages.