TALCA, a province of Chile, bounded N. by Curico, E. by Argentina, S. by Linares and Maule, and W. by the Pacific. Area 3840 sq. m. Pop. (1895) 128,961. In the E. the Andean slopes cover a considerable part of its territory, and in the W. another large area is covered by the coast range. Between these is the central valley of Chile in which the population and industries of the province are chiefly concentrated. The mountainous parts are well wooded. The intermediate plain, which is rolling and slopes gently to the S., is fertile and devoted to wheat and stock. The capital of the province is Talca (pop. 18 95, 33, 2 3 2; 1902 estimated 42,766), on the Rio Claro, a tributary of the Maule, 156 m. by rail S. of Santiago. It is one of the most important provincial towns and commercial centres of central Chile. There are woollen factories, especially for the universally worn "poncho." Talca has railway connexion with Santiago on the N., with Concepcion on the S., and with Constitucion at the mouth of the Maule.
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