The last Sunday of May is one of my favorite days in Chile. Since 1999, it is the Día del Patrimonio Nacional—National Heritage Day—in which many buildings, both public and private, many of which are usually closed to the public, open their doors to the public. This is your chance to get a peek into some of those buildings you’ve been wondering about…
Check out the entire list of activities for the entire country at www.monumentos.cl, but the site is a bit cumbersome (and in Spanish, if that’s an issue), so here’s a run-down. Take a quick read, get your walking shoes on, grab you camera, and get out there to enjoy this gorgeous Sunday morning!
A word of warning–if there’s a place you’re particularly interested in, this is your chance because there is no guarantee it will be open again next year!
For a list of places to visit on this special day… or for a route to follow any time of the years, read on…
In Santiago, by sector:
Route 1: Matucana – Av. Portales
- Estación Central, Santiago’s iconic cast iron train station, constructed in France and erected in Chile in 1897, it is still in daily operation and a very visible landmark of downtown Santiago
- Romualdito, one of Chile’s most famous animitas, just around the corner from the train station
- Catedral Evangélico, Santiago’s largest protestant church in a predominately Catholic country.
- Planetarium, open year round. If you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth a visit, but you might want to leave this one for another day and take advantage of other places that are usually closed.
- Escuela de Artes y Oficios, now part of Universidad de Santiago (UASAH), inagurated in 1893
- Biblioteca de Santiago (Santiago Library), nacional monument built 1928–1945
- Corporación Cultural Matucana 100, the recently revamped avant garde arts center known as “Matucana cien,” which is the address. Built in 1911.
- Museo Casa de Moneda (the Chilean Mint). Museum of all Chilean coins and bills
- Artequín, gorgeous 19th-century building dedicated to the arts. Like a number of other Santiago buildings, it was constructed in France in 1889 and erected in Santiago in 1894.
Route 2: 5 de Abril – San Alberto Hurtdo
- Santuario y Templo Padre Hurtado, religious temple devoted to Chile’s second Saint, Padre Alberto Hurtado
- Parque del as Américas, now known as Parque Bernardo Leighton. 6.8-hectare green área
- Capilla Padres Carmelitas, church dating to 1937, originally known as San José de Chunchuco
- Santuario Montserrat, landmark blue church on Recoleta beside the Cerro Blanco, reconstructed in 1834 (Historic Monument)
- Parque Cerro Blanco
- Iglesia y Convento Recoleta Dominica, church and monastery with historic monument status; church built in 1882, and the convent in 1886–1888.
- Cementerio Católico (Catholic Cemetery), dating to 1883. This dark and mysterious cemetery across from the larger and better-known General Cementery is full of sculptures and interesting monuments. Ground first blessed in 1883.
- Casco Histórico del Cementerio General de Santiago (Historic center of Santiago’s General Cemetery). Santiago’s first “extramural” cemetery (built outside the city walls) inaugurated in 1821.
- Antiguo Hospital San José, now a cultural center, built 1841–1872.
Route 2: Churches
- Policía de Investigaciones (formerly Instituto de Higiene), built in 1902. If you spend much time in Santiago, you’ll eventually end up here doing some kind of trámite (beaurocratic paperwork)
- Parroquia Niño Jesús, this is the church with the tall filigree steeple near Independencia and across the Mapocho River from Estación Mapocho.
- Cité Calle Indpendencia. Santiago has many cites, which are semi-closed communities of connected
- Barrio Maruri, traditional residential neighborhood
- Iglesia Patios del Monasterio del Carmen de San Rafael, a historic monument built in 1767–1770
- Fundación Las Rosas (former Santuario María Santísima)
- Iglesia y Convento Recoleta Franciscana, classic church on Recoleta 220–270 reconstructed in 1845; the steelpe dates to 1848.
- Iglesia Ortodoxo San Nicolas
- Iglesia Santa Filomena (1884)
- Cervecería Ebner, now defunct, former brewery. This national monument dates to 1885–1888.
Route 1: Plaza Ñuñoa
Route 2: Casa de Cultura, Parque Juan XXIII
Route 3: Simón Bolívar
Route 4: Campo de Deporte, Estadio Nacional (National Stadium)
Route 1: Vicuña MacKenna, Parque Bustamante
Route 2: Providencia – Salvador
Route 3: Bellavista & Surrounding Areas
Route 4: Pedro de Valdivia
Route 5: Los Leones – Plaza Las Lilas – Pocuro
Route 6: Campus Oriente & Surrounding Areas
Route 1: La Moneda & Bolsa de Comercio, Presidential Palace & Stock Exchange
Route 2: Santa Lucía & Surrounding Areas
Route 3: Parque Forestal & Barrio Lastarria
Route 4: Estación Mapocho / Mercado Central
Route 5: Plaza de Armas & Surrounding Areas
SANTIAGO: QUINTA NORMAL
Route 1: Circuito Santiago, Parque Quinta Normal & Surrounding Cite
- Cite Las Palmas, another classic early 20th-century housing solution
- Museo Arte Contemporaneo (MAC)
- Museo de Historia Natural (1875)
- Invernadero Quinta Normal, built in approximately 1875, this classic French style greenhouse is no longer in use
- Parque Museo Ferroviario de Santiago (Santiago Railroad Park & Museum), historic monument
- Museo de la Educación Gabriela Mistral (Gabriela Mistral Education Museum, former Escuela Normal)
- Museo de la Memoria (Memory Museum), recently inaugurated museum dedicated to the memory of those who suffered human rights abuses during the military dictatorship (Matucana 501)
- Gruta y Basilica de Lourdes, Basilica built in 1880 and reconstructed in 1929, with a replica of the famous French Lourdes Shrine.