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Santiago (), also Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation (Greater Santiago). It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of above mean sea level. Although Santiago is the capital, the National Congress of Chile meets in the coastal town of Valpara so, 120 km to the west.

Chile's steady economic growth has transformed Santiago into Latin America's most modern metropolitan area, with extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping centers, and impressive high-rise architecture. It has a very modern transport infrastructure, including the steadily growing underground Santiago Metro, an effort at modernizing public bus transport and a free flow toll-based ring road and inner city highway system, part of which is tunneled underneath a large section of the city's main river Mapocho connecting the Eastern and Western end of the city in a 25-minute drive. Santiago is the regional headquarters to many multinationals and a financial center.


Usage note

Santiago Commune]] In Chile, there are several entities which bear the name of Santiago that are often confused. The Municipality of Santiago (sometimes referred to as Santiago Centro, English: Central Santiago or downtown Santiago), is an administrative division that comprises roughly the area occupied by the city during its colonial period. The Municipality of Santiago, which is administered by a city council and headed by a mayor, is part of the Santiago Province (headed by a Provincial Governor), which is in itself a subdivision of the Santiago Metropolitan Region (headed by an Intendant). Still, throughout this article, and as it is widely accepted, the term Santiago will refer to what is commonly known as Greater Santiago (Spanish: Gran Santiago), a territorial extension defined by its urban continuity that includes the Commune of Santiago in addition to 36 other communes, which together comprise the majority of the Santiago Province and some areas of neighboring provinces (see Political divisions). The Greater Santiago inhabitants/natives are called santiaguinos (m) or santiaguinas (f).


Founding of the city

1541 founding of Santiago

Santiago was founded by Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Valdivia on February 12, 1541 with the name Santiago de Nueva Extremadura, as a homage to Saint James and Extremadura and in relation with the first name given to Chile, Nueva Extremadura. Extremadura was Valdivia's birth place in Spain.[1] The founding ceremony was held on Huel n Hill (later renamed Cerro Santa Luc a). Valdivia chose the location of Santiago because of its climate, abundant vegetation and the ease with which it could be defended the Mapocho River then split into two branches and rejoined further downstream, forming an island.[2] The Inca ruler Manco C pac II warned the new rulers that his people would be hostile to the occupiers. The Spanish invaders had to battle against hunger caused by this resistance. Pedro de Valdivia ultimately succeeded in stabilizing the food supply and other resources needed for Santiago to thrive.[3]

The layout of the new town consisted of straight roads of 12 varas () width, in equal intervals of 138 varas () perpendicular to each other. With nine roads in the east-west direction and 15 in the north-south direction, there were 126 blocks that formed the so-called manzanas, or square cut.[4]

Attempted destruction

The continued resistance of the indigenous population resulted in a series of further conflicts. On September 11, 1541, the Picunche chief, Michimalonco, led an attack on Santiago, beginning a three-year-long war. At the time, the Conquistadores were in a precarious situation, suffering persistent food shortages in almost complete isolation from the rest of the world.[5]

In January 1542, Pedro de Valdivia sent an emissary, Alonso de Monroy, to Peru to request help. The Conquistadors suffered 20 harsh months until de Monroy returned from Peru with reinforcements, ending the isolation and demoralizing situation of the soldiers in Santiago. The uprising ultimately failed and the indigenous population moved south.[5]

Colonial Santiago

Map of Santiago at the beginning of the colonial 18th century. The top of the image points south. Despite threats from Indian attacks, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, and floods, Santiago was rapidly settled. Of the 126 blocks designed by Gamboa in 1558, 40 were occupied by 1580, while nearby lands supported tens of thousands of livestock. These early settlers constructed the first important buildings in the city, including the first Cathedral in 1561 and the Church of San Francisco, built in 1618.[6] Both structures were built primarily of adobe and stone.

The bridge Calicanto over the Mapocho River was the main symbol of the city after its completion in 1779.

In 1767, the corregidor Luis Manuel de Za artu began construction on the Calicanto Bridge, one of the most important architectural works of the entire colonial period in Chile. The bridge was completed in 1779 and linked the two halves of the city across the Mapocho River.

In 1770, Governor Agust n de J uregui hired the Italian architect Toesca Joaquin to design, among other important works, the facade of the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral and La Moneda, the presidential palace. [7] The government of Ambrosio O'Higgins opened a major road to Valpara so in 1791.


Battle of Maip , 1818

On 12 February 1817, the Battle of Chacabuco was fought a short distance north of Santiago in the town of Colina. Argentine and Chilean armies, led by Jos de San Mart n and Bernardo O'Higgins, fought Spanish royalists. On the same day, Chile proclaimed its independence.[5]

During the authoritarian era of the so-called Republic, from 1830 to 1891, the school system was introduced and cultural life started to flourish. In 1843 the Universidad de Chile was founded, followed by the Universidad Pontificia Cat lica in 1888. By 1885, the population of Santiago had reached 189,322.[5]

Nineteenth century

During the years of the Republican era, institutions such as the University of Chile (Universidad de Chile), the Normal School of Preceptors, the School of Arts and Crafts, and the Quinta Normal, which included the Museum of Fine Arts (now Museum of Science and Technology) and the National Museum of Natural History, were founded. Created primarily for educational use, they also became examples of public planning during that period. In 1851, the first telegraph system connecting the capital with the Port of Valpara so was inaugurated.[5]

Cerro Santa Luc a A new momentum in the urban development of the capital took place during the so-called "Liberal Republic" and the administration of the city's mayor, Benjam n Vicu a Mackenna. Among the main works during this period are the remodeling of the Cerro Santa Lucia which, despite its central location, had been in very poor shape.[5] In an effort to transform Santiago, Vicu a Mackenna began construction of the Camino de Cintura, a road surrounding the entire city. A new redevelopment of the Alameda Avenue turned it into the main traffic artery of the city.

Also during this time and with the work of European landscapers in 1873, O'Higgins Park came to existence. The park, open to the public, became a point of interest in Santiago due to its large gardens, lakes, and carriages. Other important buildings were opened during this era, such as the Teatro Municipal opera house, and the Riding Club. At the same time, the 1875 International Exposition was held in the grounds of the Quinta Normal. [8]

The city also became the main hub of the national railway system. The first railroad reached the city on September 14, 1857 at the Central Station of Santiago. Under construction at the time, the station would be opened permanently in 1884. During those years, railways connected the city to Valpara so as well as regions in the north and south of Chile. The streets of Santiago were paved and by 1875 and there were 1,107 cars in the city during that year, while 45,000 people used tram services on a daily basis.

Growth and development

The 1930s saw the beginning of a transformation of the city into a modern, industrialized one. In the following decades, Santiago flourished and continued to grow rapidly due to emigration from Chile's northern and southern regions.[9] In 1940 the city was home to 952,075 people, rising to 1,350,409 in 1952 and 1,907,378 by 1960.[9]

Santiago's growth was reflected in the appearance of poverty-stricken neighborhoods in some areas of the city, while rural areas on the periphery of the city were increasingly urbanized. In 1930 the urban city center had an area of 6,500 hectares, increasing to 20,900 by 1960 and 38,296 by 1980. Although most of the communities continued to expand, growth was concentrated in outlying communities such as Canyon to the west, the north of the city, and Conchal , Las Cisternas, and La Granja to the south. The wealthier sections of society became concentrated in areas such as Las Condes and La Reina. In contrast, the center of Santiago gradually decreased in population, leaving space for the development of trade, banking and government activities.[10]

While the majority of Santiago's growth took place without any regulation, various development plans for Greater Santiago began to be implemented in the late 1950s. In 1958 a plan was launched to regulate urban areas, setting a size limit of 38,600 hectares for the city, for a maximum population of 3,260,000 inhabitants. New roads such as the Avenida Am rico Vespucio Ring-Road and the Pan American Highway were constructed, while existing industrial centers were enlarged and new ones established. The hosting of the World Cup in 1962 gave new impetus to the improvement of public works within the city. In 1966 the Metropolitan Park of Santiago was established in the Cerro San Crist bal and the Department of Housing and Urban Planning (Ministerio de Vivienda y Urbanismo, MINVU) began eradicating shanty towns, replacing them with the construction of new homes. San Borja, built near the Diego Portales University, was also remodeled at this time.[10]

The new international Pudahuel Airport opened in 1968 and, after years of debate, construction of the Santiago Metro began in 1969 and was completed in 1975. The Metro was very successful and in subsequent years expanded, comprising two perpendicular lines by the end of 1978. Telecommunications were also improved with the construction of the Torre Entel in 1975, which would become one of the symbols of the capital and the tallest structure in the country for two decades.[10]

After the coup of 1973 and the establishment of a military regime, no major changes were made to urban planning until the beginning of 1980, when the government adopted a neoliberal economic model and took on the role of supervisor of a market economy. In 1979 the master plan was amended, extending the urban area to more than 62,000 hectares. Expansion has been particularly acute in La Florida, the country's most populous municipality with 328,881 inhabitants at the time of the 1992 census.

A strong earthquake struck the city on March 3, 1985, causing few casualties but leaving thousands homeless and destroying many old buildings.[10] Another earthquake, on February 27, 2010, caused massive destruction and 82 deaths in other regions of Chile but little recorded damage in Santiago.[11]


Astronaut View of Santiago The city lies in the center of the Santiago Basin, a large bowl-shaped valley consisting of a broad and fertile lands surrounded by mountains. The city has a varying elevation, with in the western areas and in the Plaza Baquedano.[12] It is flanked by the main chain of the Andes on the east and the Chilean Coastal Range on the west. On the north, it is bounded by the Cord n de Chacabuco, a mountain range of the Andes. The Andes mountains around Santiago are quite tall; the tallest of which is the Tupungato volcano at . Other volcanoes include Tupungatito, San Jos and Maipo. Cerro El Plomo is the highest mountain visible from Santiago's urban area. At the southern border lies the Angostura de Paine, an elongated spur of the Andes that almost reaches the coast. The Santiago Basin is part of the Intermediate Depression and is remarkably flat, interrupted only by a few hills; among them are Cerro Renca, Cerro Blanco and Cerro Santa Luc a. This basin is approximately 80 km in a north-south direction and 35 km from east to west.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, the area comprising most of the present-day city was undersea. The only nearby landmass was what is now the Coastal Range. South America was one of several continents that belonged to the supercontinent of Gondwana. The morphology of the region began to take on its present shape in the late Paleozoic when the Nazca Plate began subducting beneath the South American plate. This collision folded the crust until the Triassic, lifting the rocks that gave rise to the Andes. Subsequent tectonic activities raised much of Chile's coastal seabed above water, forming the Intermediate Depression.[13]

During recent decades, urban growth has expanded the boundaries of the city to the east closer to the Andean Precordillera. Even in areas such as La Dehesa, Lo Curro and El Arrayan has been reached to overcome the barrier of 1000 metres of altitude.[14] Some low-lying foothills of the Andes emerge and goes into the basin, as is the If the mountain range of The Pyramid and the hill Cerro San Cristobal, in the northeastern sector of Santiago.

To the east stands the massive call Ramon Sierra, a mountain chain formed in the foothills of the Precordillera due to the action of the fault Ramon, reaching 3296 metres at the Cerro de Ramon. 20 km further east is the Cordillera of the Andes with its mountain ranges and volcanoes, many of which exceed and in which some glaciers are maintained. The higher the Tupungato volcano with 6570 metres, [17] located near the volcano Tupungatito of 5913 metres of altitude. To the northeast lie Cerro Plomo (5,424 m) and Nevado El Plomo 6070 metres in altitude. [17] To the southeast of the capital, meanwhile, are located on the Nevado Piuquenes (6,019 m) volcano San Jose (5,855 m) and the volcano Maipo (5,323 m). From these peaks, the Tupungatito as San Jos and Maipo are active volcanoes.


Santiago has a somewhat cooler Mediterranean climate: relatively hot dry summers (November to March) with temperatures reaching up to on the hottest days; winters (June to August) are more humid with cold mornings, typical maximum daily temperatures of , and minimums of a few degrees above freezing. According to the K ppen climate classification, the climate in Santiago is Csb, and it closely borders a semi-arid climate (BSh/BSk).

Mean rainfall is per year and is heavily concentrated in the cooler months. Snowfall is extremely rare in the most of the city, and rare in eastern districts (above 700 metres [2300 feet]).

Among the main climatic features of Santiago is the concentration of about 80% of the precipitation during the austral winter months (May to September), varying between 50 and 80 mm of rainfall during these months. That amount contrasts with figures for the months corresponding to a very dry season, caused by an anticyclonic dominance continued for about seven or eight months, mainly during the summer months between December and March. Rainfall does not exceed 4 mm on average. Precipitation is usually only rain, as snowfall only occurs in the Andes and in the Precordillera. On winter, mean snow level is about 2100 metres (6900 feet), and it range from 1500 metres (4900 feet) up to 2900 metres (9500 feet).[15]

The temperatures vary throughout the year from an average of in January to in June and July. In the summer, January is hot, easily reaching over and a record high close to , while nights are generally pleasant and slightly cooler without lowering of . For his part, during autumn and winter the temperature drops and is slightly lower than the , the temperature may even drop slightly from , especially during the morning, and its historic low of in 1976.

Santiago's location within a watershed is one of the most important factors in the climate of the city. The coastal mountain range serves as a "screen climate" to oppose the spread of marine influence, contributing to the increase in annual and daily thermal oscillation (the difference between the maximum and minimum daily temperatures can reach 14 C) and maintaining low relative humidity close to an annual average of 70%. It also prevents the entry of air masses with the exception of some coastal low clouds that penetrate to the basin through the river valleys.

Prevailing winds are from the southwest direction, with an average of 15 km / h, especially during the summer as in winter calm prevail.

Environmental issues

Thermal inversion (a meteorological phenomenon whereby a stable layer of warm air holds down colder air close to the ground) causes high levels of smog and air pollution to be trapped and concentrate within the Central Valley during winter months. In the 1990s air pollution fell by about one-third, but there has been little progress since 2000.[16]

As of March 2007, only 61% of the wastewater in Santiago was treated,[17] which increased up to 71% by the end of the same year. However, the Mapocho River, which crosses the city from the north-east to the south-west of the Central Valley, remains contaminated by household, agricultural and industrial sewage, and by upstream copper-mining waste (there are a number of copper mines in the Andes east of Santiago), which is dumped unfiltered into the river.[18] Laws require industry and local governments to process all their wastewater, but are loosely enforced.[19] There are now a number of large wastewater processing and recycling plants under construction. There are ongoing plans to decontaminate the river[20] and make it navigable.[21]

Noise levels on the main streets are high,[22] mostly because of noisy diesel buses. Diesel trucks and buses are also major contributors to winter smog. A lengthy replacement process of the bus system began in 2005 and will last until 2010 (see Transport section below). However, a major source of Santiago air pollution year-round is the smelter of El Teniente copper mine.[23][24] Nevertheless, the government does not usually report it as being a local pollution source as it is just outside the reporting area of the Santiago Metropolitan Region, being 110 km. (70 miles) from downtown.[25][26]

Urban issues

Santiago, as with Chile in general,[27] is an economically divided city (Gini coefficient of 0.47).[28] The western half (zona poniente) of the city is much poorer than the eastern side. Accordingly, graffiti and crime are much more prevalent on the Western side. Public facilities such as buildings or transport are often severely overcrowded.

The downtown area has a large number of homeless.[29] Beggars are also common.

In Santiago, as with much of Chile, stray dogs are very common.[30][31] Rabies is practically non-existent in Chile.[32]


Population of Santiago from 1820 to 2020. Santiago by Human Development Index on a commune-basis. Greener is higher. The blue line denotes the main areas of the city. According to data collected in the 2002 census by the National Institute of Statistics, the Santiago metropolitan area population reached 5,428,590 inhabitants, equivalent to 35.91% of the national total and 89.56 % of total regional inhabitants. This figure reflects broad growth in the population of the city during the 20th century: in 1907 had 383,587 inhabitants, 1,010,102 in 1940, 2,009,118 in 1960, 3,899,619 in 1982 and 4,729,118 in 1992.[33] (percentage of total population, 2007)[34]

The growth of Santiago has undergone several changes over the course of its history. In its early years, the city had a rate of growth 2.68% annually until the 17th century, then down to less than 2% per year until the early 20th century figures. The middle of this century was a demographic explosion explaining as, in its capacity as capital, absorbed on migration from mining camps in northern Chile during the crisis of the 1930s and from population from rural sectors between 1940 and 1960, mainly. Lots of migration coupled with the high fertility rate at that time were reflected in figures annual growth reached 4.92% between 1952 and 1960. However, since the end of this century, growth figures had reduced again, reaching 1.35% in the early 2000s. Similarly, the size of the city expanded constantly. The 20,000 hectares covering Santiago in 1960 doubled by 1980, reaching 64,140 hectares in 2002. Thus the density of population in Santiago is 8,464 inhabitants/km .

The population of Santiago[33] has seen a steady increase over the years. For 2007, it is estimated that 32.89% of men and 30.73% of women were less than 20 years old, while 10.23% of men and 13.43% of women were over 60 years. In contrast, in 1990 the total population under 20 years was 38.04 % and 8.86% were over 60. For the year 2020, it is estimated that both figures will be 26.69% and 16.79%.

4,313,719 people in Chile say they were born in one of the communes of the Santiago Metropolitan Region[33] which according to the 2002 census amounts to 28.54% of the national total. 67.6% of the current inhabitants of Santiago claim to been born in one of the communes of the metropolitan area. 2.11% of the inhabitants are immigrants mainly from other Latin American countries such as Argentina and Peru.


Progress of the Costanera Center and Titanium La Portada in May 2011. Avenue Apoquindo, financial center

Santiago is the industrial and financial center of Chile, and generates 45% of the country's GDP.[35] Some international institutions, such as ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), have their offices in Santiago. Currently under construction is the Costanera Center, a mega project in Santiago's Financial District. This includes a mall, a tower, two office towers of each, and a hotel tall. In January 2009 the retailer in charge, Cencosud, said in a statement that the construction of the mega-mall would gradually be reduced until financial uncertainty is cleared.[36] In January 2010, Cencosud announced the re-start of the project, and this was taken generally as a symbol of the country's success over the global financial crisis. Close to Costanera Center another skyscraper is already in use, Titanium La Portada, tall. Although these are the two biggest projects, there are many other office buildings under construction in Santiago, as well as hundreds of high rise residential buildings. In February 2011, Gran Costanera Tower, part of the Costanera Center project, reached the 226 meters mark, officially becoming the tallest structure in Latin America.[37] The strong economy and low government debt is attracting migrants from Europe and the United States.[38]


LAN Airlines headquarters Santiago Financial Center Santiago is Chile s major industrial and agricultural region. The bulk of Chile s industrial and commercial activity is concentrated in the national and regional capital of Santiago, but there are important farm-supply, marketing, and processing activities at San Bernardo (location of major railroad shops), Puente Alto (a paper- and gypsum-processing center), Melipilla, Talagante, and Buin. Dairying and beef production are significant; the main crops are grains, grapes, potatoes, and beans. Copper, gypsum, and limestone are mined. Marketing is facilitated by the proximity of urban centers, by main-line railroad communications, and by the best-developed regional road system in Chile.


Santiago is Chile's retail capital. Falabella, Paris, Mega Johnsons, Ripley, La Polar and several other department stores dot the mall landscape of Chile. The east side neighborhoods like Vitacura, La Dehesa, and Las Condes are home to Santiago's swanky Alonso de Cordova street and malls like Parque Arauco and Alto Las Condes, all known for their luxurious shopping scene. Alonso de Cordova is Santiago's equivalent to Rodeo Drive or Rua Oscar Freire in S o Paulo, with exclusive stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Emporio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, MaxMara, Longchamp, and many more stores that carry exclusive brands. Alonso de Cordova also houses some of Santiago's most famous restaurants, art galleries, wine showrooms and furniture stores. There are also plans for a Saks Fifth Avenue in Santiago. For a more bohemian scene there are several mercados in the city that sell local goods and Bellavista where some of the most exclusive night clubs and chic cafes are located.



Comodoro Arturo Merino Ben tez International Airport.

Comodoro Arturo Merino Ben tez International Airport is Santiago's national and international airport and the principal hub of LAN Airlines and Sky Airline. The largest airport in Chile and one of the world's busiest airports by passenger traffic, it is ranked fifth among Latin American airports, with 10,315,319 passengers in 2010. It is 15 minutes from the city centre.


Central Station TerraSur trains operated by Chile's national railways company, Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado, connect Santiago to Chill n, in the central-southern part of the country. All such trains arrive and depart from the Estaci n Central (Central Station) which can be accessed by bus or subway.[39]

The main stops are:

Inter-urban buses

Bus companies provide passenger transportation from Santiago to most areas of the country, while some also provide parcel-shipping and delivery services.

There are several bus terminals in Santiago:

  • Terminal San Borja: located in Metro station "Estaci n Central". Provides buses to all destinations in Chile and to some towns around Santiago.
  • Terminal Alameda: located in Metro station "Universidad de Santiago". Provides buses to all destinations in Chile.
  • Terminal Santiago: located one block west of Terminal Alameda. Provides buses to all destinations in Chile as well as destinations in most countries in South America, except Bolivia.
  • Terrapuerto Los H roes: located two blocks east of Metro station "Los H roes". Provides buses to south of Chile and some northern cities, as well as Argentina (Mendoza and Buenos Aires) and Paraguay (Asunci n).
  • Terminal Pajaritos: located in Metro station "Pajaritos". Provides buses to the international airport, inter-regional services to Valpara so, Vi a del Mar and several other coastal cities and towns.
  • Terminal La Cisterna: located in Metro station "La Cisterna". Provides buses to towns around southern Santiago, Vi a del Mar, Temuco and Puerto Montt.
  • Terminal La Paz: located about two blocks away from La Vega Central fruit market; the closest Metro station is "Puente Cal y Canto". It connects the rural areas north of Santiago.


A network of free flow toll highways connect the various areas of the city. They include, the Vespucio Norte and Vespucio Sur highways, which surround the city completing a nearly full circle; Autopista Central, the section of the Pan American highway crossing the city from north to south, divided in two highways 3 km apart; and the Costanera Norte, running next to the Mapocho River and connecting the international airport with the downtown and with the wealthier areas of the city to the east, where it divides into two highways.

Other non-free flow toll roads connect Santiago to other cities. Rutas del Pac fico (Ruta 68), the continuation of the Alameda avenue to the west, provides direct access to Valpara so and Vi a del Mar; Autopista del Sol (Ruta 78), connects Melipilla and the port of San Antonio with the capital; Autopista del Maipo is an alternative to the Pan American highway to access the various localities south of Santiago; Autopista Los Libertadores provides access to the main border crossing to Argentina, via Colina and Los Andes; and Autopista Nororiente, which provides access to the suburban development known as Chicureo, north of the capital.

Public transport

Baquedano Metro station. Estaci n Central.

Santiago has 37% of Chile's vehicles, with a total of 991,838 vehicles; 979,346 of which are motorized. 805,220 cars pass through the city, which is equivalent to 38% of the national and at a rate of one car for every seven people. To support this huge number of cars there is an extensive network of streets and avenues stretching across Santiago to facilitate travel between the different communities that make up the metropolitan area.

In the 1990s the government attempted to reorganize the public transport system. New routes were introduced in 1994 and the buses were painted yellow. The system, however, had serious issues with routes overlapping, high levels of air and noise pollution and safety problems for both riders and drivers. To tackle these issues a new transport system, called Transantiago, was devised. The system was launched in earnest on 10 February 2007, combining core services across the city with the subway and with local feeder routes, under a unified system of payment through a contactless smartcard called "Tarjeta bip!". The radical change was not well received by users, who complained of lack of buses, too many bus-to-bus transfers and diminished coverage. Some of these problems were resolved, but the system earned a bad reputation which it hasn't been able to shake off. As of 2011, the fare evasion rate is stubbornly high.

The Metro de Santiago subway carries over two million passengers daily through its five lines (1, 2, 4, 4A and 5), extending over 84 km and 89 stations. In 2010, a new extension to the commune of Maip expanded the Metro to more than 105 km in length. Construction of two new lines (3 and 6) was confirmed recently by president Sebasti n Pi era, and is expected to be operating in 2014.[40]

Other local transport systems include 25,000 taxis, identified by black colour cars and yellow roof. In recent years many cycle paths have been constructed, but so far the number is limited and with little connections between the routes. Most cyclists ride on the street, and the use of helmets and lights is not extended, even though it is mandatory.


Vicente Vald s station. Santiago Metro map.

With 101 stations currently in operation and 16 under construction, the Santiago Metro is South America's most extensive metro system. The system has five operating lines and carries around 2,400,000 passengers per day. Two underground lines (Line 4 and 4A) and an extension of Line 2 were inaugurated during late 2005 and beginning of 2006.[41] Further extensions are currently under way on Lines 1 and 5.[42] An announcement of plans for a new line was made by President Bachelet. The South Express Line, Line 6, will be finished by 2014, adding 12 stations to the network and approximately 15 km of track.[42]

Commuter rail

The company Trenes Metropolitanos S.A. provides suburban rail service under the brandname of Metrotren. There is only one southbound route, serving 18 stations between the Central Station of Santiago at Alameda and San Fernando, via Paine and Graneros. The electrified service expands over . About 10 daily trains operate the full distance in each direction, with up to 30 trains between Santiago and Graneros.[43]


Transantiago Bus

Transantiago is the name for the city's public transport system. It works by combining local (feeder) bus lines, main bus lines and the Metro network. It includes an integrated fare system, which allows passengers to make bus-to-bus or bus-to-metro transfers for the price of one ticket, using a contactless smartcard. Fares cannot be paid in cash, and if the card does not have enough credit, it must be recharged before a trip.


Taxicabs are common in Santiago and are painted black with yellow roofs and have orange license plates. So-called radiotaxis may be called up by telephone and can be any make, model, or color but should always have the orange plates. Colectivos are shared taxicabs that carry passengers along a specific route for a fixed fee.

Political divisions

Greater Santiago lacks a metropolitan government for its administration, which is currently distributed between various authorities, complicating the operation of the city as a single entity.[44] The highest authority in Santiago is considered to be the intendant of the Santiago Metropolitan Region, an unelected delegate of the president.

The whole of Greater Santiago does not fit perfectly into any administrative division, extending throughout four different provinces and 37 communes. The majority of its (as of 2002)[45] lie within Santiago Province, with some peripheral areas contained in the provinces of Cordillera, Maipo and Talagante.

Note: Communes in the peripheries are not shown to their full extent.


Municipal Theatre of Santiago Palacio de La Moneda

Despite its long history, there are only a few historical buildings from the Spanish colonial period left in the city, because Santiago - as the rest of the country - is regularly hit by earthquakes. The buildings from this period include the Casa Colorada (1769), the Church San Francisco (1586) and Posada del Corregidor (1750). Another reason that it lacks old buildings from this time is the relatively new prosperity of Chile; at the time of the Spanish colony, the city had a low economic impact, the upswing came after the independence of the country. This explains the newness of the buildings built mainly in neoclassic style. The Cathedral on the central square (Plaza de Armas), 1745 according to plans by Joaquim Toesca built, ranks as the sights as Palacio de La Moneda, the Classicist Presidential Palace. The original building was between 1784 and 1805 of the architect Joaqu n Toesca. Since 1846, the Presidential Palace is home to the Government. Contemporary Art Museum of Santiago Other buildings at the Plaza de Armas were finished in 1882 and between 1804 and 1807 built Palacio de la real Audjencia, of 18. September 1810 - today date of Nationalfeiertages - met the first Government of the country. The Centre houses the historical museum with 12,000 exhibits. In the South-East of the square is the built in 1893 blue Eisenkontruktion of Edwards Kaufhauses (Edificio commercial Edwards) and the 1769 finished colonial building the "Casa Colorada", the historical city museum Close is the (Teatro Municipal) Theatre. In 1906 by an earthquake destroyed building was built of the French architect Brunet of Edward Baines 1857. Not far from the theatre the Mansi n Subercaseaux (today seat Banco Edwards) and the National Library (one of the largest libraries of South America). Grouped opposite are the previous National Convention, the law courts, and the Royal Customs House (Palacio real Casa de Aduana), together with the Museum of pre-Columbian art. Fine Arts Museum A fire destroyed the building in 1895. It was then rebuilt and reopened 1901 in neoclassic style. The first Chilean National Congress was 4. July 1811 decision (1810) the Government junta in Santiago formed by. The Congress was deposed under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973 1989) and after the dictatorship in Valpara so on 11. Newly constituted March 1990. The Plaza Montt is the building of the Justice Palace (Palacio de Tribun Musicales). The building was between 1907 and 1926 of the architect Emilio Doy re. It is home to the Supreme Court (Corte comparison de Justicia). The Kollegialgericht with 21 judges is the highest judiciary in Chile. The judges be proposed by the judges of the Supreme Court and appointed by the President on lifetime. The building is also home of the Supreme Court of appeal.

At the Plaza Montt is the building of the Justice Palace (Palacio de Tribunales). The building was created from 1907 to 1926 after plans by the architect Emilio Doy re. It is the seat of the Supreme Court (Corte Suprema de Justicia). The panel of 21 judges is the highest judicial power in Chile. The judges are appointed by the judges of the Supreme Court and proposed by the President appointed for life. The building is also headquarters of the Supreme Court of the country. Biblioteca Nacional de Chile Former Congress building Calle Bandera ("Banner Street") leads to the building of the Merchants' Exchange (the Bolsa de Comercio), completed in 1917, to the Club de la Uni n (its building was opened in 1925), to the Universidad de Chile (1872), and to the oldest churchhouse in the city, the Iglesia de San Francisco (constructed between 1586 and 1628), with its Marian statue, La Virgen del Socorro ("The Virgin of Succour"), by Pedro de Valdivia. North of the Plaza de Armas ("Place of Arms", where the colonial militia was mustered), the Paseo Puente to Santo Domingo Church (1771) and Market (Mercado Central), a powerful iron construction. In the center of Santiago is the Torre Entel, a 127.4-meter-high television tower with observation deck, all completed in 1974; the tower serves as a communication center for the leading telephone company, ENTEL Chile.

With the Costanera Center, a commercial and architectural landmark of the capital. When completed in 2009 is a combination of jobs, housing, shopping and entertainment venues have been achieved. The project with a total area of 600,000 square meters, includes the 300-meter high "Gran Torre Costanera" (South America's tallest building) and three other commercial buildings with shopping malls, shops, cinemas, an amusement centre, restaurants, hotels, offices and luxury apartments. The four office towers extensive building complex is replaced by a highway and subway connections.[46]


There are two symphonic orchestras:

  • Orquesta Filarm nica de Santiago ("Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago"), which performs in the Teatro Municipal ("Municipal Theater")
  • Orquesta Sinf nica de Chile ("Symphonic Orchestra of Chile"), dependent of the Universidad de Chile, performs in its theater.

There are a number of jazz establishments, some of them, including "El Perseguidor", "Thelonious", and "Le Fournil Jazz Club", are located in Bellavista, one of Santiago's "hippest" neighborhoods, though "Club de Jazz de Santiago", the oldest and most traditional one, is in u oa.[47]

Annual festivals feature in Santiago with various acts such as Lollapalooza and Maquinaria festival


The most widely circulated newspapers in Chile are published by El Mercurio and Copesa and have earned more than the 91% of revenues generated in printed advertising in Chile.[48]

Some of the most popular newspapers available in Santiago are:


Santiago is home of Chile's most successful football clubs. The most successful of them is Colo-Colo. It was founded on April 19, 1925. It has a long tradition and plays since the establishment of the first Chilean league in 1933 continuously in the highest league. 29 national titles, 10 Copa Chile successes and in 1991 champions of Copa Libertadores, Chile's only team that ever won the tournament. The club hosts its home games in the Estadio Monumental, in the commune of Macul.

Another great club is Universidad de Chile. The club is considered one of the best known and most successful with 15 national titles, 3 Copa Chile and in 2011 champions of Copa Sudamericana, Chile's only team that ever won the tournament. It was founded on May 24, 1927 under the name Club Deportivo Universitario as a union of Club N utico and Federaci n Universitaria. The founders were students of the University of Chile. In 1980, the organization separated from the University of Chile and the club is now completely independent. The team plays its home games in the Estadio Nacional de Chile, in the commune of u oa. Estadio Nacional de Chile Club Deportivo Universidad Cat lica was founded on April 21, 1937 and is also often referred to briefly as UC. It consists of fourteen different departments responsible for the students of the same university are excluded. Far beyond the borders of Chile is known mainly for his club soccer team. This team plays its home games in Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo. Universidad Cat lica has 10 national titles, making it the third most successful football club in the country. It has played the Copa Libertadores more than 20 times, reaching the final in 1993, losing to S o Paulo FC.

Several other football clubs are based in Santiago, the most important of them being Uni n Espa ola, Audax Italiano, Palestino, Santiago Morning and Magallanes.

In addition to football, several sports are played in the city, tennis and basketball being the main ones.

Through the entire metropolitan area are distributed Wettstuben (called "Teletrack"), in which mainly the male population of Santiago bets on horse racing, watching the races at large screens. The Club H pico de Santiago and the Hip dromo Chile are the two Horseracing tracks in the city where the action takes place.

Other Sports includes Volleyball, Field Hockey, Chilean Rodeo, Rowing and Canoeing, which is practiced in two Lakes nearby. The first is Laguna Car n, which is reachable with Public Transport (Buses J-11 and J-12 which departs from Metro Station "Pajaritos" (Line 1) or "Barrancas" (Line 5), 5 minute ride by bus). The other option is Aculeo which is located 40 km south. More Information at Remo Metropolitano


There is an extensive network of bicycle trails in the city, especially in the Providencia comuna. The longest section is the Americo Vespuccio road, which contains a very wide dirt path with many trees through the center of a street used by motorists on both sides. The next longest path is along the Mapocho River along avenida Andr s Bello. Many people use folding bicycles to commute to work.[50]

The city's main parks are:

There are ski resorts to the east of the city (Valle Nevado, La Parva, El Colorado) and wineries in the plains west of the city.

Cultural places to visit include:

The main sport venues are Estadio Nacional (site of the 1962 World Cup final), Estadio Monumental David Arellano, Estadio Santa Laura and Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo.


Santiago's Metropolitan Cathedral

As in most of Chile, the majority of the population of Santiago is Catholic. According to the National Census, carried out in 2002 by the National Statistics Bureau (INE), in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, 3,129,249 people 15 and older identified themselves as Catholics, equivalent to 68.7% of the total population, while 595,173 (13.1%) described themselves as Evangelical Protestants. Around 1.2% of the population declared themselves as being Jehovah's Witnesses, while 0.9% identified themselves as Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 0.25% as Jewish, 0.11% as Orthodox and 0.03% as Muslim. Approximately 10.4% of the population of the Metropolitan Region stated that they were atheist or agnostic, while 5.4% declared that they followed other religions.[51]


Universidad de Chile The city is home to numerous universities, colleges, research institutions and libraries.

The largest university and one of the oldest on the American continent is Universidad de Chile. The roots of the University date back to the year 1622, as on 19 August the first university in Chile under the name of Santo Tom s de Aquino was founded. On 28 July 1738, it was named the Real Universidad de San Felipe in honor of King Philip V of Spain. In the vernacular, it is also known as Casa de Bello (Spanish: Bellos house - after their first Rector, Andr s Bello) known. On 17 April 1839, after Chile from the mother country, the Kingdom of Spain, became independent, was officially to the University Universidad de Chile, and opened on 17 September 1843.

Pontificia Universidad Cat lica de Chile

The Pontificia Universidad Cat lica de Chile (PUC) was founded in June 1888. On 11 February 1930 was the university by a decree by Pope Pius XI. to an appointed Pontifical University, 1931, the full recognition by the Chilean government. Joaqu n Larra n Gandarillas (1822 1897), Archbishop of Anazarba, was the founder and first rector of the PUC. The PUC is a modern university; the campus of San Joaquin has a number of contemporary buildings and offers many parks and sports facilities. Several courses are conducted in English. The current president Sebasti n Pi era, minister Ricardo Raineri, and minister Hern n de Solminihac all attended PUC as students and worked in PUC as professors. In the 2010 admission process, approximately 48% of the students who achieved the best score in the Prueba de Selecci n Universitaria matriculated in the UC.[52]

Higher education




International relations

Twin towns and sister cities

Santiago is twinned with:

Partner city


File:Club de la Uni n.jpg|Club de La Uni n File:Santiago Chile.jpg| File:Centre-ville Santiago.jpg|

File:Titanium La Portada 2010.jpg|Titanium La Portada, Santiago 2nd tallest skyscraper File:Fachada Basilica del Salvador.jpg|Bas lica del Salvador File:PaseoBulnes.jpg|Paseo Bulnes, downtown Santiago File:Paseo Ahumada 2009.jpg|Paseo Ahumada, downtown Santiago File:Alameda - Santiago de Chile.jpg|Entel Tower



External links

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