For information about the 2010 version, see: Día del Patrimonio Nacional 2010
Have you ever noticed that it seems like you always hear about cool events AFTER they’ve taken place? Well, here’s a heads up. This Sunday, May 31, 2009, is Chile’s Cultural Heritage Day and no matter where you are in the country, there will be plenty of cultural activities to whet your appetite.
Ten years ago, Chile declared the last Sunday in May to be the “Día del Patrimonio Cultural,” a day set aside to celebrate and stimulate pride in Chilean culture. It is particularly geared toward architecture and a highlight of the day is the opportunity to visit a number of public and private buildings that are normally closed to the general public. The event has proven extremely successful and has expanded considerably each year. This year Santiago opens the doors to 110 buildings and has organized a multitude of activities in its museums, libraries, and cultural centers. Cities around the country are doing likewise.
This year’s theme is “The Fiesta del Patrimonio” and celebrates the concept of fiesta in different moments of time and cultural expression throughout Chile’s nearly 500 years of history.
I strongly suggest taking a look at the Día del Patrimonio Cultural (Cultural Heritage Day) web site and check out what’s doing around the country. If you click on “Programación nacional” you can find activities in each of the country’s 15 regions and then download an excel file with activities in your area.
To avoid making you go through a long series of clicking here, clicking there, just go straight to this link: La Fiesta del Patrimonio: Guía de Recorridos (Cultural Heritage Festival: Guide to Tours)to download a pamflet in pdf format that lists the different buildings that will be open to the public on Sunday. Choose a couple of options and go out and explore! This is your opportunity to get into those old mansions and the back rooms of government buildings you’ve always wondered about. There will also be plenty of music, food, games, and fun for the whole family.
Check it out and come back to report in on Monday!
I just found this great link: Cultura Mapocho which gives more information in Spanish about some of the tours available.
Other sources of cultural pride for Chile are its 5 Unesco World Heritage Sites.
World Heritage Sites in Chile:
Easter Island: Rapa Nui National Park: Chile’s 1st World Heritage Site, named in 1995
Churches of Chiloé: 16 characteristic wooden churches were added to the WH list in 2001
Valparaíso (historic quarter): 2003
Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Nitrate Mines) (2005)
Sewell Mining Town: (2006) Chile’s first copper mining camp