Chile: Cerro Santa Lucia


After leaving the procession we wandered back towards the hotel stopping off on the way to explore Cerro Santa Lucia.    The city of Santiago (Santiago de la Nueva Extremadura)  was laid out at the foot of St. Lucia Hill by the conquistador Pedro de Valdivia in February 1541 . The city was burnt & rebuilt, affected by earthquakes and floods and generally did not prosper until the 18th century. From the 1850’s French architecture was dominant and it wasn’t until the 20th century that Chilean architects became popular.

Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna was Intendant of Santiago from 1872 – 1875 and it was during his term that the paths & terraces were laid out in Cerro Santa Lucia as well as the viewpoints.

It was very pretty:

Quite a way up:

I will make my first mention here that there are dogs *everywhere* in Santiago and Valparaiso (and I think in Chile in general)!   They just wander the streets and seem well fed (though some are mangy).   I asked someone about this and why there seemed to be such a general acceptance of the dogs roaming about. They didn’t really have an answer other than “it’s just the way it is”.    I suppose it makes sense then to find a statue of a dog near the top of Santa Lucia!    IMG_1819



12 responses

  1. Seeing the older architecture in South American cities makes me wistful. California has a few 17th and 18th century missions leftover from when it was a Spanish colony, but most of the buildings from that period were torn down when American settlers moved in and rushed to “modernize” the state. Ironically, there has been a Spanish mission revival of sorts—you can find all these newer suburban developments built in a bogus Spanish style, albeit tile roofs are now frowned upon because they are earthquake hazards.

    The public garden spaces in Santiago are beautiful! We really could use more of those in the States, and I don’t mean those shopping-mall sprinkler fountains either, lol.

    • I’ve been to 3 of those Franciscan missions in CA – they are beautiful.
      Santiago has a lot of green space – I was really impressed. There are a few of these cerro (hill) parks and a large park called Parque Forestal and there’s open space along the Mapocho River with footpaths. There’s a lovely botanical garden (Metropolitan Park) and you can see the Andes from just about everywhere in the city.

  2. It is lovely architecture, reminds me of the newer things on the Continent-har! But seriously…

    Interesting about the dogs. You hear about cats in this place, dogs in that (monkey, etc.). Interesting.

    • There is such a variety in the architecture from neo-classical, art deco neo-gothic, colonial-American, Italian renaissance to modern glass towers to green buildings (vines growing over them!). And there’s always bloody dogs lying around the outside…. 🙂

  3. The paths and terraces are great, as is the fountain. How grand! It’s interesting to see the cityscape behind it, but I bet an entire town like that would be spectacular.

    India is like that too with the dogs, and Greece with cats. They just don’t have any good laws that prevent people from dumping or letting pets roam loose and never have; so people grow up with it as a way of life. Of course they end up very unhealthy because they’re eating whatever they can and they end up with parasites and skin diseases.

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