The Capital of Chile, Santiago de Chile or plain Santiago was founded by the Spaniards in 1541 and always been the capital of the country. Today it’s a bustling metropolis of 6.5 million inhabitants.
It is a modern city but you may still find many colonial buildings. The Mapocho river flows through the city and above all, the impressive Andes are a background the east of the city.
Cerro San Cristobal
This hill rises over the city and provides great views of the Capital of Chile. At the top you’ll find and observatory and s statue of Virgin Mary, part of the sanctuary dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.
From this sanctuary, Pope Joh Paul II blessed this beautiful city and held mass for its people
Cerro San Cristobal also is home to Santiago’s biggest park, Santiago Metropolitan Park; the Chilean National Zoo; a Japanese garden and two swimming pools.
Palacio de La Moneda
Simply called La Moneda serves as the seat of the President and headquarters of several government’s ministries.
This is one of Santiago’s most important buildings, located between the Alameda and Calle Moneda.
The building is an integral part of Chile’s history. It was originally built to be a coin mint, moneda in Spanish, designed by Italian architect Joaquin Toesca and opened in 1805. It served this original purpose for about fifteen years. Later, in 1845, it became the residence of the president under the Bulnes administration.
La Moneda’s integral moment came on September 11, 1973, when Pinochet’s military forces staged a coup d’etat against then-president Salvador Allende. They bombarded the palace, and later that day Allende was declared dead.
Museum of Memory and Human Rights
Chile’s record of human rights hasn’t always been stellar, hence the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. Only open for a few years, the museum is a memorial to Chileans who had their rights violated during the Pinochet regime (1973 – 1990). In perhaps an ironic twist, Chile’s then-President Michelle Bachelet, a victim of Pinochet’s torture, laid the museum’s first stone in 2008.
Gran Torre Santiago
This 64-story building towers over Santiago and can be seen from everywhere in the city. It is the highest skyscraper in South America, 300 meters ‘high.
It is officially known as the Costanera Center Torre 2. It is part of a complex that houses the larges shopping mall in South America visited by more than a quarter-million people a day.
Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, has items dating as far back as 10,000 years. It covers Pre-Columbian art not only from Chile, but from the rest of South America and Central America as well.
It all started with a private collection and has grown to more than 5,000 artworks and artifacts. These items are made from diverse materials, including metal, textiles, ceramics, bone and leather.
Cerro Santa Lucia in the Capital of Chile
It is the site of a 15-million-year-old volcano. The hill was originally called Huelen by natives and was renamed by the Spanish Conquistadores in 1943 when if was conquered, in honor of Santa Lucia.
The hill was remodeled in the 19th century. Today you’ll find a park, statuary, fountains and a castle that has been remodeled into an events center. You’ll also find some great views of Santiago.
Although other foods are sold here, the main reason people go there is the fish and seafood fresh from the Chilean coastline.
The market has plenty of restaurants where to eat instead of just buying food to take home. Mercado Central is a Santiago landmark since 1872, located next to Plaza de Armas.
This is one of the three houses of noted Chilean poet and Nobel literature prize winner Pablo Neruda. The others are in Valparaiso and Isla Negra.
The name, La Chascona, comes from his mistress’s messy curly red hair. The ship-shaped house is a magnet for tourists who come to see the kitchen, which resembles a ship’s cabin, and the living room, which takes after a lighthouse.
Barrio Bellavista is where it’s all happening in Santiago. This is the city’s Bohemian quarter, where poets and intellectuals live, play and work. Its most famous resident is again, Pablo Neruda and his house La Chascona.
The area has restaurants, cafes and bars as well as funky boutiques and avant-garde galleries.
Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral
Located in Plaza de Armas, this cathedral has stood strong against earthquakes for more than 260 years.
Construction first began in 1748 and the cathedral has dominated the square ever since. The stone neoclassical cathedral is considered one of the best examples of religious architecture in South America. One of the towers holds the remains of Chile’s first cardinal.
images for capital of chile
cerro by roert cutto
moneda by gonzalo luengo
arte by carlos texidor
santa lucia by almonroth
mercado by almonroth
bella vista by klausiee
cathedral by diego delso
all courtesy of wikimedia commons
Map of Chile and its Capital