History of Santiago de Chile

Brief history of Santiago de Chile summarized

A look at the history of Santiago de Chile, in a brief and summarized way.

The origin of Santiago de Chile

According to archaeological studies, it is estimated that the first inhabitants of Santiago settled around the year 800, with the emergence of peasant communities that cultivated potatoes, beans and corn along the Mapocho river basin.

These towns belonged to picachos under the influence of the Inca Empire, which built some fortresses such as the Huaca del Cerro Chena and the Cerro El Plomo Sanctuary.

The spanish arrive

With the arrival of the Spanish, the conquistador Pedro de Valdivia founded the city of Santiago del Nuevo Extremo on February 12, 1541. It was master builder Pedro de Gamboa who designed the layout of the street grid in a Spanish style.

The city was attacked by the Indians in September of that year, during the Arauco War, but managed to be protected. In addition, Santiago suffered several earthquakes, so it was not until 1607 that the Real Audiencia was established in Santiago, which gave it the role of capital in Chile.

Santiago’s first buildings began to be built around 1561, with the Catedral de Santiago (Catedral de Santiago) and the Iglesia de San Francisco (Iglesia de San Francisco) in 1572, made of adobe and stone. In 1767 Puente Cal y Canto was built, which joined the northern area known as La Chimba.

Also in 1780, the construction of important buildings such as the Palacio de la Moneda, the facade of the Cathedral and the design of the San Carlos canal were carried out, all these constructions were carried out by the Italian architect Joaquín Toesca.

Chile becomes independent

In 1810, the First Meeting of Government was proclaimed in Santiago, which began the process of Independence of Chile, which was finally consolidated in 1818 during the Battle of Maipú.

Later, Bernardo O’Higgins assumed the position of Supreme Director at the time known as the New Homeland, in which important works were carried out, such as the construction of the Paseo de la Alameda de las Delicias.

Later, during the 19th century, in the so-called Conservative Republic, different institutions were built, such as the University of Chile and the Quinta Normal, the Cerro Santa Lucía Park, the Municipal Theater, the Equestrian Club and the current O’Higgins Park.

In the year 1857, the first railway reaches Santiago, which made it the centerpiece of the country’s railway system. In 1884 the Central Station of Santiago was inaugurated.

Twentieth century

During the 20th century, Santiago became the economic center of Chile and important banks and shops were established in the capital. In addition, several municipalities were created to improve the local administration of the city. At the beginning of the century, construction work began on the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception on the top of Cerro San Cristóbal and in 1903 the Astronomical Observatory was installed.

In 1910, the Centennial of the Republic was celebrated with the implementation of several urban projects in the capital, including the expansion of the railway network to Cajón del Maipo, the construction of the Mapocho Station in the north of the city, the creation of the Forest Park and the Museum of Fine Arts and the National Library.

In the early 1920s, Santiago’s growth began to accelerate and people began to settle in the foothills, while the city center became a financial, commercial, and government sector.

In the 1960s great progress was made in the city, with the construction of the Pudahuel International Airport and the Santiago Metro network.

Santiago de Chile today

With the beginning of the 21st century, Santiago positioned itself as a modern metropolis, with urban highways, large skyscrapers, and large housing complexes and shopping centers.

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