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Buildings and Monuments in Chile

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Buildings and Monuments

In northern Chile, Iquique impresses with Calle Baquedano and its 19th-century Georgian-style homes, which recall the splendor of the salt peter boom in Chile. Arica boasts the imposing San Marcos Cathedral and the ex-Aduana (former Customs Building), both designed by Gustav Eiffel. Near Antofagasta, there's the Pucará de Lasana, a fortress town that dates back to the 12th century. On the outskirts of San Pedro de Atacama, you can visit the Pucará de Quitor, an Incan fortress that offers a lovely view of the valley. Another must-see is the village of Tulor, a 3,000-year-old gem where you can see the rooms in which the Atacama people lived.

If you're interested in monuments and architecture, don't miss the port of Valparaíso, where the lovely Plaza Sotomayor features buildings known for their historical import and aesthetic value. Highlights include the Turri Clock Building, the El Mercurio Building, Palacio Ross and the Museum of Natural History (also known as Palacio Lyon). Make a trip to the Cementerio de los Disidentes on Cerro Panteón, which includes mausoleums of real historic and artistic significance. And this is just a fraction of what the city has to offer. Valparaíso is a master class in architectural styles.

An entertaining tour of Santiago's iconic buildings includes Palacio La Moneda, with its water fountains and modern underground cultural center, the Cathedral, the Stock Exchange, the Museum of Fine Arts (built in 1910 in honor of the country's Centennial), and the halls of the National Library. Have lunch at the Club del Unión or the Mercado Central and explore the Cementerio General, which holds the remains of some of Chile's greatest historical figures. You can also take in a terrific view of the city from Cerro Santa Lucía, and enjoy an opera or dance performance at the Teatro Municipal. This tour will allow you to learn about some of Chile's history and culture.

A prominent landmark in southern Chile is the Malleco Viaduct, an enormous metallic railroad bridge. Also designed by Eiffel, it was built in France between 1886 and 1888. It was once considered the highest railroad bridge in the world.

In Punta Arenas, Palacio Sara Braun was home to one of the most powerful women in the Patagonia during the 18th century. With frescoes on the ceilings, original furniture, sculptures and a marked European style, it now functions as a restaurant and hotel.

Examples of modern architecture in Santiago include the Museum of Visual Arts (MAVI), La Moneda Cultural Center and the Santiago Library. Southern Chile has the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in Valdivia.

 

Featured Destinations

aLa Serena and Coquimbo bSantiago
cCentral Coast dVineyards
eChiloé fValdivia and Osorno
GSouthern Patagonia

 

Tips

01

Calle París and Calle Londres Cités Palacio Vergara
These are considered the most beautiful streets in Santiago's old quarter, along with those of the neighborhood of Concha y Toro. Situated in the middle of the bustling capital, the European-style structures date back to the early 20th century and include elegant residential buildings built by notable architects. Definitely worth a visit. These housing complexes were built in Santiago in the early 20th century as part of an effort to maximize the use of urban space. They were home to families of modest means, and have been preserved thanks to their terrific architecture. The most famous are Cité Las Palmas in Matucana, Cité Adriana Cousiño in the neighborhood of Yungay and Cité Bellavista 129. Every summer, the Quinta Vergara outdoor amphitheater hosts the renowned Viña del Mar Music Festival. The Venetian-style palace, which was built in 1910 and has a terrific park, is also worth a visit.

 

 

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