Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins

Historically known as Alameda de las Delicias.

This avenue was originally one of the arms of the Mapocho River. It took the name of Cañada (a gully) on occasion of the first Spanish christening ceremony blessed from the Hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Socorro, founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1543. When this arm of the river was dried up artificially, it became a hollow, dirty and stony area.

Along the middle of La Cañada, running westward, a ditch was dug to act as an irrigation channel for the small adjacent farms. Posteriormente, los franciscanos construyeron un puente de cal y ladrillo para cruzar la acequia frente a la calle Claras, actual calle Mac Iver. This bridge was used during the Colonial period and was demolished in 1853.

On both sides of La Cañada, a large number of small agricultural farms and numerous churches could be seen.

Towards 1818, Bernardo O’Higgins gave instructions to line this avenue with poplar trees and thus it became known as “Alameda de las Delicias” (Boulevard of Delights).

During the times of the Republic, it became a beautiful tree-lined boulevard and came to be the main avenue of modern Santiago, under which runs Line 1 of the Santiago Metro (Subway) system.

Photography. Lorena Bruna, Tour Guide

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