This museum chronologically displays the country’s military history, focusing on important episodes in which the Army has played a leading role. It is also the main cultural agency for this institution as it contributes to promoting the value and knowledge of its historical and cultural heritage.
Officially opened in 1997 in the Alcázar building, it is maintained as a testimony to Chile’s military past, preserving an imposing 19th century architecture.
Apart from the permanent display, it has a coffee shop and special rooms for events and exhibitions.
It was declared a Historic Monument in 1990.
During the administration of President José Manuel Balmaceda, it was decreed that a building should be constructed to be exclusively used as the Military Academy, in the old square known as Plaza Muñoz Gamero, near O’Higgins Park.
The design was commissioned to French architect Victor Henry de Villeneuve, who conceived a neo-classical style building. It has a large patio known for the semi-circular archway on the ground floor and the metal pillars splendidly completed on the first floor. The merit of this design is that it is an important testimony of military architecture in Chile.
The cornerstone for the building was laid on November 20, 1887. After 1901, it was fully occupied and, after ten years of use, it was assigned to the Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) Academy for the following 27 years.
In 1995, the high command ordered the creation and operation of the Historical and Military Museum of Chile. The first stage of this project, out of a total of four, came to fruition on November 25, 1997.
In 2000, after two and a half years of activity, a fire destroyed most of the building. It was reopened on September 1, 2003, with an innovative, modern museographic arrangement that incorporates interactive and multimedia elements.
The Historical Military Museum sets out to increase, preserve, document, research, exhibit and popularize the cultural testimonies of the Chilean Army, in order to draw this heritage closer to the people. It also develops research programs and establishes collaboration relations and an exchange of experiences with other national and international museums, universities and cultural institutions.
The Historical Military Museum exhibit is a chronological historical walkthrough designed to take visitors through five centuries of the country’s history, from the pre-Hispanic period through to 1960. The exhibit covers such important periods as the Conquest, the Independence and the Pacific War, among others.
The permanent collection is housed in 20 display rooms distributed into three halls, on the ground and first floor of the Alcázar Building.
Visitors have a chance to take a walk through the history of Chile based on heritage objects, and get surprised with the special interactive resources that give realism and supplementary information to the milestones of the country’s past.
The multimedia stations are of particular interest as they reproduce tactical actions, battles depicted by digital animation, cartography, biographies and historical background.
Avenida Almirante Blanco Encalada, 1550, Santiago.