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Sail Amsterdam 2015 started August 19th.
The Esmeralda is a steel-hulled four-masted barquentine tall ship of the Chilean Navy. The nick-name is La Dama Blanca (The White Lady).
Construction of the 113 m long ship began in Cádiz, Spain, in 1946. She was intended to become Spain’s national training ship. During her construction in 1947 the yard in which she was being built suffered catastrophic explosions, which damaged the ship and placed the yard on the brink of bankruptcy. Work on the ship was temporarily halted. In 1950 Chile and Spain entered into negotiations in which Spain offered to repay debts incurred to Chile as a result of the Spanish Civil War in the form of manufactured products, including the not yet completed Esmeralda. Chile accepted the offer and the ship was formally transferred to the ownership of Chile in 1951. Work then continued on the ship. She was finally launched on 12 May 1953 before an audience of 5,000 people.
During the Pinochet regime in the seventies the ship was used as a floating jail and torture chamber for political prisoners.
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