It is a small rural and urban habitation, located twenty five kilometers away from San Rafael City. It was in this place that the first inhabitants settled down at the beginnings of the XIX century. There were around a hundred men, including military, ex-convicts and a chaplain, who arrived to these lands to set up an outpost fort as part of the planning of “La campaña del desierto” (Military Campaign).
“La villa” can be considered as a “museum town”, given that the streets, flanked by immense boulevards of ancient trees, keep their original structure and only a few have been paved until now. The houses and buildings still preserve part of their original adobe structure, exhibiting the typical mud bricks or adobe that were used in the XIX century to build houses. It’s not unusual to find local people along the road that still go through the town by horse. The quiet lifestyle that people still lead (Slow life), the clean air, the kind scenery, and the warmth with which visitors are treated make this spot a unique place to be visited all year round, since every season has its charm. Autumn though, throws a particular spotlight on the towns and nearby landscapes, since the colorful show that all the forested areas attain is truly fantastic and indescribable.
We cannot forget to mention the festivities that throughout the year embellish this town. Each edition brings thousands of local and foreign visitors that come to enjoy the artistic shows, the traditional dishes in the food court, and the handcraft fairs that complement the colorful and traditional events like Fundación del Fuerte and the festivities of the 25th of May with its traditional National Pericón (folk dance).
Its founding history is both rather simple and complicated at the same time, but it can be summed up by saying that at that time (beginning of XIX century) it was necessary to build an outpost fort in strategic spots. This fort would allow Virrey Rafael de Sobremonte to have an advantage over the rioter natives that attacked or put in danger the Criollo settlements and to find a connecting path to Chile fit for humans through the Mountain Range. Once the fort San Rafael del Diamante was built in 1805 for the aforementioned purposes, its original population of a hundred inhabitants began to increase through the years, making it possible to build settlements around the fort.
Main areas of interest.
- Ruinas Fuerte San Rafael del Diamante and the surrounding land have been declared as a national historic monument.
- Capilla Nuestra Señora (Chapel) still has the first images and garbs of that time.
- Museo Histórico Narciso Sosa Morales (Historical Museum)
- Historical Houses
- The Cemetery with its entrance through Paseo Alfredo Bufano.