Place:Santiago, Santiago, Santiago, Chile

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NameSantiago
Alt namesSantiago de Chilesource: Wikipedia
Santiago del Nuevo Extremosource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) X, 432
TypeCity
Coordinates33.438°S 70.651°W
Located inSantiago, Santiago, Chile     (1450 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Santiago, is the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the center of Chile's largest and most densely populated conurbation, the Santiago Metropolitan Region, whose total population is 7 million. The city is entirely located in the country's central valley. Most of the city lies between and above mean sea level.

Founded in 1541 by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago has been the capital city of Chile since colonial times. The city has a downtown core of 19th-century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles. Santiago's cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque Forestal. The Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the city. These mountains contribute to a considerable smog problem, particularly during winter. The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards and Santiago is within an hour of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

Santiago is the cultural, political and financial center of Chile and is home to the regional headquarters of many multinational corporations. The Chilean executive and judiciary are located in Santiago, but Congress meets mostly in nearby Valparaíso. Santiago is named after the biblical figure St. James. Santiago will host the 2023 Pan American Games.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Prehistory

According to certain archaeological investigations, it is believed that the first human groups reached the Santiago basin in the 10th millennium BC. The groups were mainly nomadic hunter-gatherers, who traveled from the coast to the interior in search of guanacos during the time of the Andean snowmelt. About the year 800, the first sedentary inhabitants began to settle due to the formation of agricultural communities along the Mapocho River, mainly maize, potatoes and beans, and the domestication of camelids in the area.

The villages established in the areas belonging to the Picunches (the name given by Chileans) or Promaucae people (name given by the Incas), were subject to the Inca Empire throughout the late fifteenth century and into the early sixteenth century. The Incas settled in the valley of mitimaes, the main installation settled in the center of the present city, with strongholds such as Huaca de Chena and the sanctuary of El Plomo hill. The area would have served as a basis for the failed Inca expeditions southward road junction as the Inca Trail.

Founding of the city

Having been sent by Francisco Pizarro from Peru and having made the long journey from Cuzco, Extremadura conquistador Pedro de Valdivia reached the valley of the Mapocho on 13 December 1540. The hosts of Valdivia camped by the river in the slopes of the Tupahue hill and slowly began to interact with the Picunche people who inhabited the area. Valdivia later summoned the chiefs of the area to a parliament, where he explained his intention to found a city on behalf of the king Carlos I of Spain, which would be the capital of his governorship of Nueva Extremadura. The natives accepted and even recommended the foundation of the town on a small island between two branches of the river next to a small hill called Huelén.

On 12 February 1541 Valdivia officially founded the city of Santiago del Nuevo Extremo (Santiago of New Extremadura) in honor of St. James, patron saint of Spain, near the Huelén, renamed by the conqueror as "St. Lucia". (The name Santiago is the local Galician evolution of Vulgar Latin Sanctu Iacobu, "Saint James".) Following colonial rule, Valdivia entrusted the layout of the new town to master builder Pedro de Gamboa, who would design the city grid layout. In the center of the city, Gamboa designed a Plaza Mayor, around which various plots for the Cathedral and the governor's house were selected. In total, eight blocks from north to south, and ten from east to west, were built. Each solar (quarter block) was given to the settlers, who built houses of mud and straw.

Valdivia left months later to the south with his troops, beginning the War of Arauco. Santiago was left unprotected. The indigenous hosts of Michimalonco used this to their advantage, and attacked the fledgling city. On 11 September 1541, the city was destroyed by the natives, but the 55-strong Spanish Garrison managed to defend the fort. The resistance was led by Inés de Suárez, a mistress to Valdivia. When she realized they were being overrun, she ordered the execution of all native prisoners, and proceeded to put their heads on pikes and also threw a few heads to the natives. In face of this barbaric act, the natives dispersed in terror. The city would be slowly rebuilt, giving prominence to the newly founded Concepción, where the Royal Audiencia of Chile was then founded in 1565. However, the constant danger faced by Concepción, due partly to its proximity to the War of Arauco and also to a succession of devastating earthquakes, would not allow the definitive establishment of the Royal Court in Santiago until 1607. This establishment reaffirmed the city's role as capital.

Colonial Santiago

Although early Santiago appeared to be in imminent danger of permanent destruction, threatened by Indigenous attacks, earthquakes, and a series of floods, the city began to grow rapidly. Of the 126 blocks designed by Gamboa in 1558, forty were occupied, and in 1580, the first major buildings in the city began to rise, the start of construction highlighted with the placing of the foundation stone of the first Cathedral in 1561 and the building of the church of San Francisco in 1572. Both of these constructions consisted of mainly adobe and stone. In addition to construction of important buildings, the city began to develop as nearby lands welcomed tens of thousands of livestock.

A series of disasters impeded the development of the city during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: an earthquake, a 1575 smallpox epidemic, in 1590, 1608, and 1618, the Mapocho River floods, and, finally, the earthquake of 13 May 1647, which killed over 600 people and affected more than five thousand others. However these disasters would not stop the growth of the capital of the Captaincy General of Chile at a time when all the power of the country was centered on the Plaza de Armas santiaguina.

In 1767, the corregidor Luis Manuel de Zañartu, launched one of the most important architectural works of the entire colonial period, Calicanto Bridge, effectively connecting the city to La Chimba on the north side of the river, and began the construction of embankments to prevent overflows of the Mapocho River. Although its builders were able to complete the bridge, the piers were constantly being damaged by the river. In 1780, Governor Agustín de Jáuregui hired the Italian architect Joaquín Toesca, who would design, among other important works, the façade of the cathedral, the Palacio de La Moneda, the canal San Carlos, and the final construction of the embankments during the government of Ambrosio O'Higgins. These important works were opened permanently in 1798. The O'Higgins government also oversaw the opening of the road to Valparaíso in 1791, which connected the capital with the country's main port.

Capital of the Republic

18 September 1810 was proclaimed the First Government Junta in Santiago, beginning the process of establishing the independence of Chile. The city, which became the capital of the new nation, was threatened by various events, especially the nearby military actions.

Although some institutions, such as the National Institute and the National Library, were installed in the Patria Vieja, they were closed after the patriot defeat at the Battle of Rancagua in 1814. The royal government lasted until 1817, when the Army of the Andes secured victory in battle of Chacabuco, reinstating the patriot government in Santiago. Independence, however, was not assured. The Spanish army gained new victories in 1818 and headed for Santiago, but their march was definitively halted on the plains of the Maipo River, during the Battle of Maipú on 5 April 1818.

With the end of the war, Bernardo O'Higgins was accepted as Supreme Director and, like his father, began a number of important works for the city. During the call Patria Nueva, closed institutions reopened. The General Cemetery opened, work on the canal San Carlos was completed, and, in the south arm of the Mapocho River, known as La Cañada, the drying riverbed, used for sometime as a landfill, was turned into an avenue, now known as the Alameda de las Delicias.

Two new earthquakes hit the city, one on 19 November 1822, and another on 20 February 1835. These two events, however, did not prevent the city's rapid, continued growth. In 1820 the city reported 46,000 inhabitants, while in 1854, the population reached 69,018. In 1865, the census reported 115,337 inhabitants. This significant increase was the result of suburban growth to the south and west of the capital, and in part to La Chimba, a vibrant district growing from the division of old properties that existed in the area. This new peripheral development led to the end of the traditional checkerboard structure that previously governed the city center.

19th 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 Valparaíso was inaugurated.

A new momentum in the urban development of the capital took place during the so-called "Liberal Republic" and the administration of Mayor Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna. Among the main works during this period are the remodeling of the Cerro Santa Lucía which, despite its central location, had been in a state of poor repair.[1] In an effort to transform Santiago, Vicuña 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 road of the city.


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

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

The centennial Santiago

With the arrival of the new century, the city began to experience various changes related to the strong development of industry. Valparaíso, which had hitherto been the economic center of the country slowly lost prominence at the expense of the capital. By 1895, 75% of the national manufacturing industry was in the capital and only 28% in the harbor city, and by 1910, major banks and shops were set up in the streets of the city center, leaving Valparaíso.

The enactment of the Autonomous Municipalities' act allowed municipalities to create various administrative divisions around the then Santiago departamento, with the aim of improving local ruling. Maipú, Ñuñoa, Renca, Lampa and Colina were to be created in 1891, Providencia and Barrancas in 1897, and Las Condes in 1901. The La Victoria departamento was split with the creation of Lo Cañas in 1891, which would be split into La Granja and Puente Alto in 1892, La Florida in 1899, and La Cisterna in 1925.

The San Cristobal Hill in this period began a long process of development. In 1903 an astronomical observatory was installed and the following year the first stone was placed for its 14-meter Virgin Mary statue, nowadays visible from various points of city. However, the shrine would not be completed until some decades later.

With the 1910 Chile Centennial celebrations, many urban projects were undertaken. The railway network was extended allowing connection of the city with its nascent suburbs by a new rail ring and route to the Cajón del Maipo, while a new railway station was built in the north of the city: the Mapocho Station. At the Mapocho river's southern side, the Parque Forestal was created and new buildings such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Barros Arana public boarding school and the National Library were opened. In addition, the work would include a sewer system, covering about 85% of the urban population.

Population explosion

The 1920 census estimated the population of Santiago to be 507,296 inhabitants, equivalent to 13.6% of the population of Chile. This represented an increase of 52.5% from the census of 1907, i.e. an annual growth of 3.3%, almost three times the national figure. This growth was mainly due to the arrival of farmers from the south who came to work in factories and railroads which were under construction. However, this growth was experienced on the outskirts and not in the town itself.


During this time the downtown district was consolidated into a commercial, financial and administrative center, with the establishment of various portals and locales around Ahumada Street and a Civic District in the immediate surroundings of the Palace of La Moneda. The latter project involved the construction of various modernist buildings for the establishment of the offices of ministries and other public services, as well as commencing the construction of medium-rise buildings. On the other hand, the traditional inhabitants of the center began to migrate out of the city to more rural areas like Providencia and Ñuñoa, which hosted the oligarchy and the European immigrant professionals, and San Miguel for middle-class families. Furthermore, in the periphery villas were built various partners from various organizations of the time. Modernity expanded in the city, with the appearance of the first theaters, the extension of the telephone network and the opening of the Airport Los Cerrillos in 1928, among other advances.


The feeling that the early 20th century was an era of economic growth due to technological advances contrasted dramatically with the standard of living of lower social classes. The growth of the previous decades led to an unprecedented population explosion starting in 1929. The Great Depression caused the collapse of the nitrate industry in the north, leaving 60,000 unemployed, which added to the decline in agricultural exports, resulting in a total number for the unemployed to be about 300,000 nationwide. These unemployed workers saw Santiago and its booming industry as the only chance to survive. Many migrants arrived in Santiago with nothing and thousands had to survive on the streets due to the great difficulty in finding a place they could rent. Widespread disease, including tuberculosis, claimed the lives of hundreds of the homeless. Unemployment and living costs increased dramatically whilst the salaries of the population of Santiago fell.

The situation would change only several years later with a new industrial boom fostered by CORFO and the expansion of the state apparatus from the late 1930s. At this time, the aristocracy lost much of its power and the middle class, composed of merchants, bureaucrats and professionals, acquired the role of setting national policy. In this context, Santiago began to develop a substantial middle- and lower-class population, while the upper classes sought refuge in the districts of the capital. Thus, the old moneyed class trips to Cousino and Alameda Park, lost hegemony over popular entertainment venues such as the National Stadium emerged in 1938.

Greater Santiago

Relative growth of Santiago, by communes
1940195219601970
Barrancas1002237921978
Conchalí100225440684
La Granja10026413793424
Las Condes1001975061083
Ñuñoa100196325535
Renca100175317406
San Miguel100221373488
Santiago10010410181

In the following decades, Santiago continued to grow unabated. In 1940, the city accumulated 952,075 inhabitants, in 1952 this figure rose to 1,350,409 residents and the census of 1960 totaled 1,907,378 santiaguinos. This growth was reflected in the urbanization of rural areas on the periphery, where families of middle and lower class with stable housing were established: in 1930 the urban area had an area of 6500 hectares, which in 1960 reached 20,900 and in 1980 to 38,296. Although most of the communities continued to grow, it is mainly concentrated in outlying communities such as Canyon to the west, Conchalí northern and La Cisterna and La Granja to the south. For the upper class, it began to approach the foothills of Las Condes and La Reina sector. The center, however, lost people leaving more space for the development of trade, banking and government.


Regulation of the growth only began to be implemented during the 1960s with the creation of various development plans for Greater Santiago, a concept that reflected the new reality of a much larger city. In 1958 the Intercommunal Plan of Santiago was released. The proposed scheme set a limit of 38 600 urban and semi hectares for a maximum population of 3,260,000 inhabitants, included plans for the construction of new avenues, like the Américo Vespucio Avenue and Panamericana route 5, and the expansion of 'industrial belts'. The celebration of the World Cup in 1962 gave new impetus to implement plans for city improvement. In 1966 the Santiago Metropolitan Park was established in the Cerro San Cristóbal, began eradicating shanty towns and building new homes. Finally, the Edificio Diego Portales was constructed in 1972.

In 1967 the new International Airport Pudahuel was opened, and, after years of discussion, in 1969 construction began on the Santiago Metro. The first phase ran beneath the western section of the Alameda and was opened in 1975. The Metro would become one of the most prestigious buildings in the city. In the following years it continued to expand, with two perpendicular lines in place by the end of 1978. Building telecommunications infrastructure was also an important development of this period, as reflected in the construction of the Torre Entel, which since its construction in 1975 has become one of the symbols of the capital and the tallest structure in the country for two decades.

After the coup of 1973 and the establishment of the military regime, major changes in urban planning did not take place until the 1980s, when the government adopted a neoliberal economic model. In 1979, the master plan was amended. The urban area was extended to more than 62 000 ha for real estate development. This created urban sprawl, especially in La Florida, with the city reaching 40 619 ha in size in the early 1990s. The 1992 census showed that Santiago had become the country's most populous municipality with 328,881 inhabitants. Meanwhile, a strong earthquake struck the city on 3 March 1985. Although it caused few casualties, it left many people homeless and destroyed many old buildings.

The metropolis in the early twenty-first century

With the start of the transition to democracy in 1990, the city of Santiago had surpassed the three million inhabitants, with the majority living in the south: La Florida was the most populous area, followed by Puente Alto and Maipú. The real estate development in these municipalities and others like Quilicura and Peñalolen largely came from the construction of housing projects for middle-class families. Meanwhile, high-income families moved into the foothills, now called Barrio Alto, increasing the population of Las Condes and giving rise to new communes like Vitacura and Lo Barnechea. The Providencia Avenue area became an important commercial hub in the eastern sector. This development was extended to Barrio Alto, which became an attractive location for the construction of high-rise buildings. Major companies and financial corporations were established in the area, which gave rise to a thriving modern business center known as Sanhattan. The departure of these companies to Barrio Alto and the construction of shopping centers all around the city created a crisis in the city center. To reinvent the area, the main shopping streets were turned into pedestrian walkways, such as the Paseo Ahumada, and the government instituted tax benefits for the construction of residential buildings, which attracted young adults.

The city began to face a series of problems generated by disorganized growth. Air pollution reached critical levels during the winter months and a layer of smog settled over the city. The authorities adopted legislative measures to reduce industrial pollution and placed restrictions on vehicle use. The Metro was expanded considerably, current lines were extended and three new lines were built between 1997 and 2006 in the southeastern sector. A new extension to Maipú was inaugurated in 2011, at which point the metropolitan railway had a total length of 105 km. In the case of buses, the system underwent a major reform in the early 1990s. In 2007 master plan known as Transantiago was established. It has faced a number of problems since its launch.

Entering the twenty-first century, rapid development continued in Santiago. The Civic District was renewed with the creation of the Plaza de la Ciudadanía and construction of the Ciudad Parque Bicentenario to commemorate the bicentenary of the Republic. The development of tall buildings continues in the eastern sector, which culminated in the opening of the skyscrapers Titanium La Portada and Gran Torre Santiago in the Costanera Center complex. However, socioeconomic inequality and geosocial fragmentation remain two of the most important problems in both the city and the country.

On 27 February 2010, a strong earthquake struck the capital, causing some damage to older buildings. However, some modern buildings were also rendered uninhabitable, generating much debate about the actual implementation of mandatory earthquake standards in the modern architecture of Santiago.

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