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Santiago de Chile
Church San Francisco
Santiago also known as "Santiago de Chile", is the capital and the biggest city of Chile. It is located in the country's central valley.It is the Latin America most modern metropolitan areas and has a huge suburban development, plenty of shopping centres and remarkable high-rise architecture. The transport infrastructure of the city is very modern, counting the underground Santiago Metro. Santiago is the regional headquarters to many multinationals and a financial centers.
Santiago was founded by Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Valdivia in 1541 with the name Santiago de Nueva Extremadura, as a honour to Saint James and Extremadura, Pedro de Valdivia's birth place in Spain.
In spite of its long history, there are only a few historical monuments from the Spanish colonial period in the city, because Santiago - as the rest of the country - is regularly hit by earthquakes. Those monuments are the Church San Francisco, the Casa Colorada and Posada del Corregidorre. Another reason why there is not a lot of old buildings from this time is the rather new prosperity of Chile. The upswing came after the country's independence, so most of the buildings were built in neoclassic style, like the Cathedral on the central square (Plaza de Armas) or the Classicist Presidential Palace.
Cultural places to visit in Santiago are the Mansion Subercaseaux, the National Library (one of the largest libraries of South America) that really worth to be visited, the Royal Customs House (Palacio real Casa de Aduana), together with the Museum of pre-Columbian art. Museo de Bellas Artes - Fine Arts Museum, Barrio Bellavist... Also have a walk at the Central Station designed by Gustave Eiffel, at the Estadio Nacional (site of the 1962 World Cup final) and the Palacio de La Moneda.
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. If you are a wine lover, (Chilean wines are really famous in all over the world) be sure not to miss the opportunity to take a guided tour that will bring you in the best vineyards and wineries and to taste the best of Chilean wines. Local growers increasingly adopted international wine values, and Chile's red wines took a quantum jump in quality as well as price price.
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