Portal Fernández Concha


Address

South side of Plaza de Armas (Main Square)

This is where the first shopping arcades were built in the 16th century. At that time, this type of space had to be authorized by the Cabildo (Town Council) and remain always open.

After several reconstructions, a new fire turned the shopping arcade to ashes in 1869, and the ruins were bought by the brothers Domingo and Pedro Fernández Concha.

They built the so called Portal Fernández Concha, which featured the most luxurious shops in the capital city. These were true retail establishments selling a large variety of lavish merchandise, where one could find rich fabrics from China, brocades, gold woolens, spectacles, chintz, china and crystal, rosary beads, children’s toys, pictures of saints, sugar and chocolates.

At night time, the premises were lighted with grease candles in copper candle holders.

President Manuel Bulnes bought the middle house of the arcade to build a shopping passageway that was completed in 1870 and was named Pasaje Matte. In the same year, the first-class Hotel Santiago, ranked as the best in South America, was established on the first floor. Highly famous restaurants such as the Chez Henry and the first pizza venue in Santiago were also set up here.

From its inception, this location has been used for commercial purposes. It currently houses mainly restaurants, traditional fast food places, and a hostal.

 

Plaza de Armas, S/N, Santiago.