Casa Central Universidad de Chile


Address

Avda. Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins 1058

Link

Overview

The University of Chile is the main and oldest State higher education institution in the country. It was founded in the mid 19th century, although its immediate precursor was the University of San Felipe, founded in 1747 by the Jesuits.

The Administration Building, erected between 1863 and 1872, houses the University administrative offices, and is part of the Typical Area that includes La Bolsa (Stock Exchange), New York street, and the Club de la Unión.

The building was declared a Historic Monument in 1974.

History

The University of Chile was created by law in 1842, and inaugurated on September 17, 1843. Its predecessor was the University of San Felipe, founded by the Jesuits in the 18th century, which was active until 1839.

Its foundation is considered to be one of the most significant events in the emerging independent republic, as it set public education as an articulating axis for the country. Since the outset, it was defined as guarantor of classical, humanistic and secular culture.

The area where the Administration Building now stands was used for several purposes until the first half of the 19th century. It was the seat of the Colegio San Diego de Alcalá; it was the headquarters of José Miguel Carrera; it served as an orphanage and as a prison for women and children.

In 1863, work began on the current building, which was completed in 1872. Today, its facilities house the University of Chile’s central administration offices. Leading Chilean men and women have gone through its lecture rooms.

Architecture

A two-storied building in French neo-classical style.

The large entrance door leads to a hall. In the center is the double-height entrance to the Room of Honor, surrounded by Roman Doric columns on the ground floor, and compound columns on the first floor.

Up to 1907, the two patios in the Administration Building were uncovered and paved with cobblestones. On occasion of an important scientific congress, a glass patio roof was fitted and the floors were tiled.

Avenida Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins, 1058, Santiago.