Santiago de Chile - Host City

Santiago de Chile, host city of the upcoming World Summit on Arts and Culture, in January 2014, will give a warm welcome to members of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies and other national and international delegates attending this great celebration.

Santiago, capital of Chile, is in the midst of the Mapocho River Valley. It is dynamic and modern, with a history of over 500 years, and looks to the future with an innovative spirit. It has become a vibrant and cosmopolitan city - in 2011 The New York Times chose Santiago as the best travel destination and in 2012, CNN International featured the city as one of the world's three most captivating cities.

There are several reasons. Santiago is a city that enjoys a privileged location, situated in a fertile valley that extends 100 km from the Pacific coast. Along the east side you can also enjoy a beautiful view of the Andes mountain range. Besides the natural beauty, you will find colonial architecture blended with modernity in neighborhoods like Bellavista, Lastarria, Barrio Italia, Fine Arts or Yungay, which focus on as well as cultural activity and diverse cuisine. Nightlife extends well beyond midnight, and the the city has cultural centers, museums and galleries accessible for both residents and visitors.

January is a month of great cultural activity. Some of the most important arts festivals are held in the country at this time of year, not only in Santiago, but also in other cities. During this month that kicks off the Summer, the city is reborn with a host of artistic and cultural activities.


The city was founded in 1541 at the foot of Cerro Santa Lucia, or Huelén as it was called by the indigenous people, the Mapuches. This hill is now a busy urban park. The design of the city focusses on the main square, the Plaza de Armas, as the political, administrative and social centre, surrounded by a checkerboard network of streets.

The Mapuche people resisted the Spanish occupation and Santiago suffered the vicissitudes of the conflict. Moreover, a series of earthquakes have hit the city. These events mean that the city has been again and again reconstructed. Notable is the start of construction in stone of the first Cathedral in 1561 and the church of San Francisco.

During the eighteenth century the Palace of La Moneda, current seat of government; the Cathedral the bridge Cal y Canto; and the embankments of Mapocho River, were built.

With the creation of the first Board of Governors in 1810, Santiago began the process of emancipation. It was designated as the capital city - the center of political and administrative functions. From that moment, Santiago experienced significant and rapid urban development. Important features were constructed including the National Library, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Mapocho Station and the Municipal Theatre, which expanded the territory of the city beyond the Plaza de Armas.

Since 1930, rural migration has resulted in significant population growth and the city’s transformation into a manufacturing capital.

Today, the majority of Santiago’s activities are cultural, administrative and financial. The construction of modern buildings, urban freeways, and shopping centers in major districts of the city has proliferated, in addition to the construction of important buildings, housing national and international companies.


Interesting Neighborhoods

Barrio Italia

In the area surrounding av. Italia is the emerging Barrio Italia dating from the beginning of XX century. This place is a mixture of store bakeries, barber shops, antique shops and other amenities typical of the neighborhoods of mid-twentieth century, and new designer shops, restaurants, art galleries and boutiques that reflect new trends of a young, modern Santiago. This blend of modernity and tradition makes this neighborhood a primary example of the urban culture of the city of Santiago.



Barrio Yungay

Barrio Yungay is located in the west of the town of Santiago. This is a traditional heritage district, which retains the atmosphere and architectural style of the high class neighborhoods of the early twentieth century. Varied restaurants, museums and parks are in this traditional industrial neighbourhood.



Barrio Lastarria

The Barrio Lastarria is a classic neighborhood of Santiago, capital of Chile, located at the northeast corner of the town of Santiago, between Plaza Italia and Santa Lucia Hill and Alameda and the Mapocho River. Now a gastronomic centre - a 'not-to-miss' neighbourhood for those who enjoy good food and a powerful showcase for Chilean design, clothing, accessories and objects, well converging with art, books and music.




The Bellavista neighborhood located between the north bank of the Mapocho River and San Cristóbal Hill. Its development began in the colonial era, when the industry was known as La Chimba. With the construction of the bridge of Cal y Canto, Bellavista neighbourhood joined the rest of the city and, since the early nineteenth century, developed as a Catholic and aristocratic area, while nowadays popular bars coexist with cultural activities and national and internationally cuisine.


 Links of interest

-         Centro Cultural GAM

-          Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda

-          Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

-          Museo de Arte Contemporáneo

-          Biblioteca Nacional

-          Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

-          Mercado Central

-          Plaza de Armas

-          Catedral de Santiago

-          Parque Metropolitano

-          La Vega Central

-          Cementerio General


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