What to see in Santiago de Chile, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest in the capital, including the Cathedral, the Colored House and the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art.
Where is it
Located in a fertile valley at an average altitude of 500 meters above sea level, Santiago de Chile is 100 km from the Pacific Ocean coast, with the spectacular Andes mountain range in the east and a minor mountain range along the west coast.
Founded in 1541 by a small group of Spanish conquistadors, it has developed over the years while preserving the Mediterranean footprint of the early years, especially with regard to local cuisine.
In the city center, modern structures are flanked by colonial buildings, while the eighteenth-century Santiago Cathedral is reflected in a huge glass building on the opposite side of the Plaza de Armas.
The Colored House is an 18th-century colonial palace, located near the Plaza de Armas, with an elegant facade and pink walls.
Five rooms inside are dedicated to the Santiago Museum, which displays an informative exhibition on the history of the city, from pre-Columbian times to the present day.
The exhibition includes paintings and various objects, with a conference and concert hall.
In the General Cemetery, where important characters from the history of Chile are buried, including Salvador Allende, you can see tombs with a particular appearance and a monument dedicated to the victims of the dictatorial regime of Pinochet.
The Church of San Francesco, built in the late sixteenth century by the Chilean conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, has survived frequent earthquakes.
It is one of the oldest buildings in Santiago, in the adjacent adjacent monastery is the Colonial Museum of San Francesco, which houses a collection of ecclesiastical art dating back to colonial times.
The Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, housed in the colonial-style Palacio de la Real Aduana, displays works of art finely crafted in ceramic, metal, fabric and wood.Recommended readings
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The items on display give a unique insight into the lost cultures of Maya, Aztecs, Incas and other groups that once dominated this vast continent.
Formerly the official seat of the mint, the Palazzo della Moneta became a presidential residence in 1846.
Today the head of state resides elsewhere, but presidential offices continue to be used.
A popular legend says that Allende committed suicide in this building with a gun given to him by Fidel Castro.
The exterior and interior of the building can be visited, the visit of the latter requires prior booking.
On the south side of the Palace, in the Plaza de la Ciudadanía, there is a modern Cultural Center, divided into various exhibition spaces where important exhibitions are held.
Piazza de Armas, since colonial times, has been the most popular meeting place in the city.
Surrounded by imposing colonial public buildings, including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the central post, it is continuously animated by vendors, tourists and local artists who display their paintings on canvas.
Villa Grimaldi, former headquarters of General Pinochet's infamous secret police, was reopened in 1997 in the new guise of a memorial to the fallen during the Chilean military dictatorship.
An estimated 5,000 political prisoners have been arrested and tortured in this place.
The Peace Park, inaugurated in March 1997, marks a fundamental step for the reconciliation of Chile with its bloody past. It houses a themed museum for the promotion of human rights.
The Casa La Chascona Museum, located in the lively district of Bellavista, is located in the building that was the home of the poet Pablo Neruda, where his illustrious friends were also hosted, including the Mexican Diego Riviera.
Composed of a series of small buildings, La Chascona has been meticulously restored following the vandalism of the supporters of General Pinochet, today it houses a collection of assets belonging to Neruda.
The Salvador Allende Solidarity Museum, which has changed position several times in recent years, houses works of art donated by artists from all over the world.
The collection began in 1971, when a group of artists and thinkers decided to bring together works of contemporary art to show their solidarity with the socialist policies of Salvador Allende's government.
The collection includes donations from artists from over 39 countries, including those of Joan Miró, Roberto Matta, Antonio Saura and Yoko Ono.
The colonial Palacio de la Real Audiencia houses the National Historical Museum, which exhibits an interesting series of chronological exhibitions concerning the development of Chile, from the colonial period until independence and the modern era.
A small exhibition concerns the Chilean indigenous culture.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and concerts.
The Palace of Fine Arts, a museum that occupies an entire block in the Forest Park area, displays the best collection of painting and sculpture in Chile, and also regularly hosts exhibitions by contemporary artists from Chile and abroad.