Talca is a city and commune in Chile located about 255 km (158 mi) south of Santiago, and is the capital of both Talca Province and Maule Region (7th Region of Chile). As of the 2002 census, the city had a population of 193,755. The city is an important economic center, with agricultural (wheat) and manufacturing activities, as well as wine production. It is also the location of the Universidad de Talca and the Catholic University of Maule, among others. The Catholic Church of Talca has held a prominent role in the history of Chile.