Only a few modern buildings interrupt this trip down memory lane through a neighborhood of large houses from the late nineteenth century with colorful facades along cobblestone streets
The neighborhood is part of Santiago's Heritage Route and has been declared a national historic zone for its architecture and cultural past. Tourism-centered initiatives are also on the rise, and organizations such as Vecinos por la Defensa del Barrio Yungay, which focuses its efforts on preservation, and Corporación Cultural Barrio Yungay, which focuses on celebrating its culture, offer organized tours of the neighborhoods main architectural and cultural landmarks.
In just the stretch of one block you may find eclectic shops in old warehouses, restaurants and museums in large Victorian style homes, longtime residents sweeping their driveways, and hear the hum of patrons in one of its many taverns. Barrio Yungay is truly a mixture of history and people, all living together in one of Santiago’s oldest neighborhoods.
A Little History
In 1839, the Chilean army defeated the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation in the Peruvian town of Yungay. That same year the President of the Chile, Don Joaquín Prieto, decided to create a new neighborhood in the western district of downtown Santiago to commemorate the victory. And Barrio Yungay came to be one of the city’s most influential areas, attracting high society and intellectuals, many of whom were working hand in hand with the government to further the nation’s cultural, academic and economic development.
During the 1940’s, the neighborhood fell into decline, with much of the affluent population moving further to the east of the capital. Though in the 1990’s a renaissance began taking place with the renewal of its central plaza, improved lighting, and new playgrounds, which helped spark a moderate recovery of the sector.
In Plaza Yungay, located between Sotomayor, Rosas, Santo Domingo and Freedom, stands the monument Roto Chileno. It’s a statue of a farmer in a plain shirt, rolled up pants and a rifle in hand – a tribute to the unknown soldier – valiant and patriotic – who is credited with the victory at the Battle of Yungay on January 20, 1839. The statue was made by well-known Chilean sculptor Virgilio Arias and inaugurated in 1888, and became the main urban landmark in the neighborhood.
Where it is and how to get there
The neighborhood is located between the streets La Alameda, Ricardo Cumming, Rosas and Matucana, and adjacent to the Brazil, Concha y Toro and Quinta Normal neighborhoods.
It’s easiest to arrive by metro using either the Ricardo Cumming or Quinta Normal stations via Line 5.
|La Vega Central|
|Would you like to study Spanish in Chile? We would like to invite you to our Spanish school, which is situated near La Vega Central. La Vega Central, also known as the Feria Mapocho , is a market located at the far south of Recoleta commune in Santiago de Chile, almost at the north bank of the Mapocho River. A wide variety of products are sold in its surrounds, principally fresh fruit and vegetables from the Chilean Central Valley. La Vega Central is also home to over 500 dairy, meat, goods and merchandise stores, and offers a variety of Chilean cuisine. Today, hundreds of thousands of people pass daily through La Vega’s 60,000 square meters of stalls La Vega Central has now achieved iconic status in Chile’s capital.|
|The Chascona House Museum ( Pablo Neruda's House in Santiago de Chile)|
|Nobel-Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda's Santiago pied à terre is situated in the lively Bellavista neighborhood. A series of small buildings, rather than a single house, La Chascona has been meticulously restored since it was vandalized by supporters of General Pinochet and now houses a collection of Neruda's possessions. Visitors are taken on a audio-guided tour (English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish) through the house, where the history behind the furniture and possessions is explained.|
The house Neruda built in 1953, in Santiago's Bellavista neighborhood, was named "La Chascona" ("the uncombed") in honor to Matilde Urrutia, his secret lover until 1955 and later his third wife.
No reservation required. Visitors are called in on a first-come, first-served basis.
Openin Hours and Tickets:
LA CHACONA VIDEO:
Location: Fernando Márquez de la Plata 0192, Barrio Bellavista, Providencia, Santiago.
Learn Spanish with us and visit this and other interesting places of our city.
|Parque Quinta Normal|
For those who like sports, the Quinta Normal offers: Tennis courts, Football fields, Roller Skating areas, a lagoon with rowing boats, toys for children, avenues for strolling and biking. Moreover, you can finish the day by visiting the existing museums that provide an important and attractive cultural aspect. They are: the national Museum for Natural history, the Science and Technology Museum, the Railway Park Museum and the Children Museum.
This public park was founded in 1830 and created with the purpose of reproducing foreign and alien species in an area extending to 40 hectares. It is planted with Pine, Hazel, Egg fruit and Poplar trees among others.
|The Hippodrome Club|
It is located at 2540 Blanco Encalada Street.
It was inaugurated in 1870. It covers a 78 hectares area. The building was a piece of art done by the architect Josué Smith. The building has a clear French baroque influence with promenades, gardens, terraces and stairs. The estate is ornamented by the Andes Mountains. The classic races are run six Sundays a year.
|Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro|
It is located at 305-307 José Victorino Lastarria Street.
|El Parque de las Esculturas|
The sculpture park is located at 2201 Santa Maria Avenue.
The park provides samples of sculptures in open air of famous national and international art prize winners. The sculptures are elaborated in metal, wood, fibers and other materials. There is also a show room permanently functioning.
Its privileged location, at the bank of the Mapocho River and the surrounding green areas, makes it an alternative for those who would like to enjoy culture and nature. The beautiful sunset gives a special shine to the sculptures provoking a new sensation while the sun goes down.
You can visit it from Monday to Firday from 09:00 to 18:00 hrs and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 18: hrs.
It is situated between Beauchef and Rondizoni streets.
An old and well-preserved park donated to the city by Don Luis Cousiño and inaugurated in 1873. O'Higgins Park (Parque O'Higgins), named after Bernardo O'Higgins, Chile's founding father, is Santiago, Chile's second largest public park. It is located in the center of the capital. Measuring about 190 acres (767,000 m²), it is about a fourth the size of Manhattan's Central Park.
It was designed by the landscape architects Arana Borica and the French Guillermo Renner. The site was originally called "Pampilla" or "El Llano" and it was a pass time place for people from Santiago at the end of the 19th century, a flat wasteland where people spontaneously gathered to celebrate the national holidays. The government bought this great extension of unused land in 1845, building on it several buildings, such as a Jail, a Military School and a few others. In 1870, the government gave the northern portion of the terrain to the rich heir and philanthropist Luis Cousiño, who inspired by the parks he saw in Europe -like Hyde Park in London or the Bois de Boulogne in Paris- decided to give one to his own city. The park was inaugurated in January of 1873 and was named Parque Cousiño to honor its creator. The name of the traditional Cousiño Park was changed in 1972 to its current name.
The park has beautiful gardens, many attractions and entertainment places and it is a popular place for families to visit during weekends and holidays, especially during the national holiday (September 18), when a number of "fondas" and "ramadas" -a traditional Chilean place for dancing, eating and drinking- are open to the public for a few days. The park also contains several structures like the Field of Mars (Campos de Marte) -also known as The Ellipse, for its shape-, where every September 19, the military parade takes place; the Little Town (pueblito) consists in a small street surrounded by shops and museums like the one called "El Huaso" (a huaso is a Chilean cowboy, rather like the Argentinian gaucho and this museum is dedicated to Chile's rural communities) Fantasilandia, the biggest amusement park in the country, is located on its northwestern corner, and it's always full during summer. There is also a public pool, a roller skating field, tennis courts, a soccer field, a theater and even a private university. The park itself has several paths that cover its extension and there is also an artificial lake. There's also the covered Arena Santiago, which mostly holds musical events.
|Museo de Solidaridad Salvador Allende|
This museum is worth checking out since it houses one of the most important collections of modern art in South America. Works range from the 1950's to the 80's and include paintings by Matta, Miro, Oldenburg, and Vassarely. The museum was created in 1971 by a group of intellectuals in honor of President Salvador Allende. When Allende was thrown from power by a military dictatorship the collection was hidden in the basement of the Museum of Modern Art.
This museum has a new home in a beautiful building that has been designated a national monument. It houses works of art donated by artists from around the world in support of the Chilean people. The collection began in 1971 when a group of artists and thinkers decided to bring together contemporary works of art to show their sympathy with the social policies of the Salvador Allende government. During Pinochet's military dictatorship, exiled artists continued the project and the collection now includes donations by artists from over 39 countries. Among the famous artists featured are Joan Miro, Roberto Matta, Antonio Saura and Yoko Ono.
The museum is located in Calle Herrera 360, on the corner with Calle Compañia.
Once you recover your strength at the Bellavista Neighborhood, you can go to the Metropolitan Park, a pine-forested spur of the Andes that juts into the city's heart and Santiago's largest open space. It is the biggest park of the country. It has total superficies of 728 hectares. It includes the San Cristobal, the Chacarillas, the Gemelos and the Pirámide hills. The San Cristobal Hill, which is the main hill, at its summit has a 14mts high white statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception that dominates the horizon. This is where, in 1987, Pope John Paul II held mass to celebrate his only visit to Chile (much criticized because of the Pinochet regime's human rights record). Its forested slopes are crisscrossed by hiking trails and facilities include a public barbecue area, two outdoor swimming pools and a modest zoo. The most convenient way to reach the summit is by the funicular railway that leaves from the terminal on Calle Pio Nono in the Bellavista area. There is also a cable car that connects Pedro de Valdivia Norte with the top. Roads lead up the hill from Pedro de Valdivia Norte, Pio Nono or La Pirámide.
So, once you end the entire route, maybe is time to have a drink at the Bellavista Neighborhood, located at the north side of the Mapocho River and at the feet of the San Cristobal Hill.
Bellavista is a picturesque place that has transformed into Santiago's Bohemian sector. It offers good art galleries, cafés, theaters and restaurants. The busiest days are Fridays and Saturdays which becomes crowded from 22:00 hrs.
On the Antonio López de Bello Street, there are beautiful houses that are attached all along the Street and have balconies covered with flowers. There are also picturesque restaurants and other fine ones with specialties in international food such as La Chimba, Rodizzio, etc. Places that offer typical food such as the traditional Venezia.
There are theatres, concert Cafés and art galleries. We recommend that you would reserve with anticipation for any entry to spectacles and restaurants.
It is a beautiful park planted with leafy trees and pleasant to go for a walk. It was built on the lands left over after the canalization of the Mapocho River in 1891. Created by Jorge Dubois, the park is a display of the 19th century aesthetic and was inaugurated by the quarter-master general, Enrique Cousiño, in 1900.
Park Forestal is located at the south side of the Mapocho River between the Baquedano and Prat Plazas, and follows the line of the river. As in many parks many monuments, sculptures and various kinds of trees (native & imported) are found here. Many Santiago inhabitants come here on Sundays to stroll in the park, with the children, bicycles, watch the different street performances with clowns, janglers, theatres etc. Park Forestal is an oasis in the middle of the large city, away from the street noise. Here you can find the German Fountain, the Independence Writers Monument, Bruna Palace, The Fine Arts National Museum, the Contemporian Art, the Naval Combat of Iquique, Aviation Martyrs, the Statue of Icaro and Dédalo, the Statue of Glory, Statue of Dios Pan, and the Rubén Dario monument
|Cerro Santa Lucia|
Next to the National Library, there is Santa Lucía Hill, a small hill downtown Santiago, Chile. It borders on Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins in the south, Santa Lucía Street in the west and Victoria Subercaseaux. Santa Lucia Hill has an altitude of 629 m and a height of 69 m. It has a surface of 65.300m².
Adorned previously with ornate facades, stairways, and fountains, today an adjacent metro station is named for it. Atop the hill, there is a vista point unsurpassed inside Santiago except by Cerro San Cristobal.
It was originally called Huelén by the pre-colonization inhabitants; in mapudungún (the language that mapuches indigenous speaks) the word means "pain, melancholy or sadness". However, the name comes from the day in which Pedro de Valdivia conquered the hill, on December 13, 1541. That day celebrates 'Santa Lucía' Its first use by its conquerors was as a point of reconnaissance, or a lookout in the years of the Conquest (1541).
A few years ago, Santa Lucía hill received an improvement in its illumination system and protections. Also, the Fort Hidalgo was restored and reopened to the public. Traditionally, a cannon is shot at, exactly, 12:00. However, it caused problems with noise pollution, as results the decibels, produced by the shoot, were reduced in order to avoid the noise pollution.
Located in Santa Lucía Hill there is a monument which consists of a 2 mts height stone carved with a paragraph extracted from the text that Pedro de Valdivia sent to the Emperor Carlos V describing the features of the new land conquered.
Surrounding the Santa Lucía Hill, you can head to one of the most important parks in Santiago, but first, we can start our rout heading to the National Museum of Fine Arts, which is in the middle of Parque Forestal.
National Museum of Fine ArtsTapestries, sculptures, engravings and drawings make up part of its collection of 3,000 artworks, organized by subjects and by "ages". It is noteworthy for its exhibits of Chilean paintings. Temporary exhibitions are also organized.
This fine arts museum, housed in a turn-of-the-century copy of Paris' Petit Palais, evokes the city's aspirations to lift itself out of the cultural wilderness. It occupies an entire block in the Parque Forestal area, the city's most 'European' neighborhood, which is rapidly becoming Santiago's main red-light district. Nevertheless, the country's best collection of painting and sculpture is on display is this elegant museum which regularly hosts exhibitions by contemporary artists from Chile and abroad.
If you keep walking to the east, you can get to the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) which is one of the first Institutions created by the rising Republic of Chile, located in Alameda Street next to the Santa Lucía Hill since 1925. In August 1813, the bulletin "The Araucano" published the Foundation of the National Library.
|Museo de San Francisco|
Walk now to the east of the city, towards the Barrio París-Londres. This is a neighborhood located at the Universidad de Chile subway station and it was built by the designers Ernesto Holzmann (father and son) using a stressed European style. There are several hostels along with its narrowed streets. In this neighborhood you can find one of the most important historical sites in Santiago since it is one of the few remaining examples of 16th century architecture. Hemmed in by busy roads, the Church of San Francisco, with the adjacent Franciscan Monastery, is a welcome island of serenity. The building was originally built as a church and convent in 1572 by Chile's conquistador, Pedro de Valdivia, although regular earthquakes ensured little of the original structure remains and in 1951 was declared by the government of Chile as a national monument. Today it houses a collection of historic and religious paintings and sculptures crafted out of silver and gold.
The church and monastery of San Francisco bear witness to Chile's artistic history during the colonial period. During the 16th and17th century one sees the emergence of features which are part of traditional Chilean architecture, such as the tiled roofs, the corridors and interior patios.During this period the citizens of Santiago found it necessary to use a system of forced labor in order to maintain their homes, public buildings or religious centers adequately.The church and the museum contain many works of colonial art. The collection is both aesthetically and historically the most important in the country.The collection is a synthesis of Andean and colonial art. The objects of art include paintings, sculpture, woodwork, carving, wrought iron, gold and silver items, embroidery and furniture.
|Palacio de la Moneda|
|The Palacio de La Moneda (Spanish for "Palace of the Mint") is the present seat of the President of the Republic of Chile. It is one of the most notable buildings constructed by the Spanish crown in its American colonies. |
During his administration, President Ricardo Lagos decided to open the palace to the public. During certain hours of the day, people of all ages can cross the palace and walk through the courtyards. President Lagos also re-opened Morandé 80, which had been the gate by which the Chilean Presidents used to enter into the palace before the 1973 coup.
Today, La Moneda houses the offices of the President and three Cabinet ministers: Interior, General Secretariat of the Presidency and General Secretariat of the Government.
A new square called Plaza de la Ciudadanía (Citizenry Square) was constructed in La Moneda's southern front between late 2004 and early 2006. Two phases of the project are completed (a square between Alameda Ave. and La Moneda and a continuation of the square in the southern part of Alameda Ave.), with a third phase, which would lower the avenue to unite the two squares, still pending approval.
|Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino|
The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino (The Museum of Pre-Colombian Art) is Santiago's finest museum, with a beautifully presented collection of pre-Hispanic art drawn from the whole South American continent. Highlights include elaborate Meso-American incense burners, Andean textiles dated back to 3,000 years ago, and Maya carvings. This is something you can’t miss.
After visiting this area and taking a rest while watching the street artists and their paintings around the square, continue your route by taking Ahumada Street and have a look at the diverse markets until you get to Moneda Street. Then turn right and walk towards La Moneda Palace.
|Museo de Santiago, Casa Colorada|
The Casa Colorada is located in Merced Street. Its a national monument originally built as the Governor’s house before the independence. Later, it became Mateo de Toro y Zambrano’s home, the first president of Chile. The building is an attraction itself, with its elegant façade and rose-colored walls. It also houses the Museo de Santiago (Santiago Museum), which gives comprehensive coverage of the city's history from pre-Colombian times to the independent republic.
|Museo Histórico Nacional|
The colonial Palacio de la Real Audiencia houses the Museo Histórico Nacional (National History Museum). Among its 18 rooms, it displays exhibitions about important periods of the Chilean history, starting with Chilean native people, the colonial period, independence and the modern era, all of this supported by important archeological elements such as furniture, clothing, paintings, photography and tools. It is located in front of the Plaza de Armas (Arms Square) and you can easily get there by the "Plaza de Armas" subway station.
The Museum was created in 1911, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Chile's independence, but its earliest creation dates from 1830, when the museum was founded by the scientist Claudio Gay. The foundation was a request from the Government of that time because there was no place to storage the historic collection of the new country. Chile's Congress was held here in the early 1800's, and the building later served as a telegraph office. The geographical location has changed since its creation, at first it was placed at the Palacio of Bellas Artes, and then it was changed to the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library). In the early 1980s, because of the amount and the quality of its entire collection, it was decided to change the museum to the old Palacio de la Real Audiencia, restored in 1982.
|Catedral de Santiago|
The Cathedral is extremely impressive. With its orderly columns and bell towers, the current cathedral is the fifth church to be built on this site. The first one was burnt down by Mapuche Indians just a few months after it was built, and the others were destroyed by earthquakes in 1552, 1647 and 1730. The present building was built in 1745 by an Italian architect Joaquín Toesca y Ricci (he also build the Palacio de la Moneda) using baroque and classical styles. Its two towers were completed at the end of the 19th century.
Inside, you can see three naves, two on each side and a higher one in the center, as well as a barrel-vaulted ceiling. Some of the most outstanding features are the main altar, original from Munich and made of white marble with applications in bronze and lapis lazuli; the Holy Sacrament chapel, similar to the Saint John and Saint Paul Martyr chapel in Rome; as well as the organs, pulpits and carved mahogany altar seats, dating from the 18th century. You can also notice the intricately crafted silver frontal, which was made by Bavarian Jesuits in the sixteenth century. You'll find more examples of the Jesuits' exquisite silverwork in the Museo de Arte Sagrado (Mon 10.30am-1.30pm & 3.30-6.30pm; free admission) behind the main building of the cathedral, along with religious paintings, sculpture and furniture.The Cathedral was declared a National Monument in 1951.
|Plaza de Armas|
Now that your stomach is full, it is time to visit the main square of Santiago; which is the place where Chile's civic life started. It is located in the heart of the city, where government, cultural and religious buildings are placed around it. Its layout was done by Pedro de Valdivia in 1541 and you can get there by walking from "La Piojera" through Puente Street. But if you don't feel like walking, you can take the subway from Cal y Canto Station to Plaza de Armas station.
It is considered the center of Santiago. It is also the geographical point from which measurements are taken towards any point in the country. The “0 Kilometer”.There are many historical buildings surrounding the plaza such as: la Real Audencia, the house of the Governors of Chile (now the Municipality of Santiago) and the Central Post Office respectively, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Portal Fernández Concha building. The statue of Pedro de Valdivia, founder of Santiago, is situated at the north-east corner of the plaza. The "Indigenous People" monument, inaugurated in 1992, is located at the south -west corner of the plaza. It pays homage to our ancestors.
| One of the most famous cantinas in Santiago, La Piojera combines the best of Chilean culture with lots and lots of alcohol.|
The name "La Piojera" comes from the word "piojo" which means louse, therefore "la piojera" would be the place where louses live. This particular name was given by the 1922 Chilean President Arturo Alessandri, when he was invited by his colleges to this place. When he saw this wretched place full of working men he exclaimed: "What is this louses house?". From that moment, the name of this place changed to "La Piojera".
The bar was bought by Don Carlos Benedetti Pini in 1916 and still belongs to the same family, after being saved from developers by protests from its loyal clientele (including presidents and poets). The significance of this locale can be seen on its graffiti-covered walls, which leaves you in awe of the cultural ambience rather than aesthetics at this cramped, loud drinking paradise. For some traditional Chilean drinking, go for a terremoto ("earthquake"), a dangerous, x-rated ice cream float of Pipeño (a sweet fermented wine), pineapple ice cream and a mystery black liquor, all served in a glass. Take note: terremotos go straight to your head. While they go down smooth, they carry the name "terremoto" for a reason. It is the best bang for the buck at a whopping CP$ 1,600 (US$ 3). If you still feel up for more drinking after a terremoto, try a replica ("aftershock"). This second round is filled with all the terremoto goodness but at half the dosage.
Some other house specialties are Pipeño from Chillan, Chicha (sweet wine) from Villa Alegre and San Javier and Cola de Mono ("monkey's tail," a mixture of milk, coffee and liquor). While this place is known for its drinking, La Piojera also has a diverse menu of Chile’s greatest home-cooked hits, from pastel de choclo (a delicious casserole cooked in terracotta dishes) to humitas (similar to tomales in Mexico). While downing a fresh terremoto, listen closely to the entertaining sounds of the guitar and accordion duet. You will get a good laugh out of musicians, who sing traditional Chilean drinking hymns about animalitos and carne crudo.To get to La Piojera, go to Metro Puente Cal y Canto on Line 2 (Yellow Line). The bar is straight ahead when exiting closest to Mercado Central.
Aillavilú Nº 1030
After visiting "La Vega", go to the Mercado Central and try a fresh-as-it-comes seafood lunch, surrounded by stalls packed with glistening sea bass and salmon, and buckets of salt-crusted oysters, mussels and clams. You can get there by walking towards south of the city, heading to the Mapocho River, If you are too tired, you can go back to the "Patronato" subway station and go to the next station called "Cal y Canto"
Created in 1817 by Bernardo O'Higgins, the Mercado Central was built to release the Plaza de Armas of its growing groceries. In 1864, a fire burned the building and the Santiago Municipality ordered a project to the architect Manuel de Aldunate. Been the most popular material in those days, Aldunate used steel to built an spectacular art noveau building that was supposedly designed to be a train station in the first place. The ceiling is all made of steel and was imported from Belgium and assembled in Santiago. Although this impressive building still has a fish market, it has become an unashamed tourist trap full of overpriced 'rustic' restaurants and dozens of merchants offering exotic fish, crabs, colorful fruits and seasonings. The place is also very nice for having lunch. It retains much of its atmosphere, however, and it is a good spot to buy an empanada or a cheap bottle of wine. But if you are looking for real traditional and popular Chilean food, "La Piojera” is the right place, located just around the Mercado Central.
|La Vega Central|
Walking through the A. Lopez de Bello Street, cross the Recoleta Avenue and go to "La Vega Central"; the biggest and most important group of groceries, fruits and vegetable stores in Santiago. La Vega is located among the southern Recoleta and Independencia Districts, near to the Mapocho River. It was founded in 1895 by Don Agustín Gómez García, a rich neighbor from La Chimba and it was called in a very pompous way the "Gran Supermercado de Abastos de la Cuidad" (The City's Great Supermarket). As the time went by, the neighborhood got used to be called "La Vega". Its original size was a block, with its countless passages and alleys, and five yards distributed by what was being sold, for example, there was a yard to sold meet, and other for vegetables, etc. Although is a very popular place and sometimes you may think that it is a little dangerous, it is definitely the best place to get some quality fresh products.