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The entrance to Fuerte Bulnes, a Chilean fort located by the Strait of Magellan, 62 km (38 mi) south of Punta Arenas. The fort was originally built in 1843 to encourage colonization in Southern Chile, protect the Strait of Magellan, and ward off claims by other nations. Harsh weather prevented large-scale settlement and in 1848 the government founded Punta Arenas to the north; the fort was abandoned and burned. Between 1941 and 1943, it was reconstructed and in 1968 became a national monument.