Santiago and its republican tradition


Undoubtedly, the Republic brought a good deal of progress that led to the growth of the city of Santiago. New land was assigned to residences, such as the area south of La Cañada, as occurred in 1821 when it was transformed into a beautiful public promenade, on the initiative of Bernardo O’Higgins, in his role as Supreme Director.

Towards the end of the 19th century, Santiago took on a more European appearance, as the architects of that time set out to erect buildings inspired by trends from renowned foreign architects.

So prominent buildings, both public and private, were built that graced the main avenues, promenades and formed the aristocratic quarters of the day. Santiago grew westward, where quarters such as Brasil and Yungay emerged. Rich businessmen built their mansions without skimping on resources to provide them with sophisticated details. The authorities were not alien to this trend. This was how Benjamin Vicuña Mackenna, Mayor of Santiago, began an ambitious  project, in 1872, to update the city and landscape of Santiago. One of his greatest works was the transformation of Cerro Santa Lucia, from a rugged rock to a beautiful public park.

Landscaping was a recurring theme among the citizens of Santiago, who were eager to live in line with the archetype of beauty prevailing in Europe. During this period, large areas of land were converted into beautiful finely designed, decorated public parks, as in the case of O’Higgins Park.

The creation of the Central Railway Station, opened in 1884, and the installation of a telegraph line between Santiago and Valparaiso, the first long-distance communication in the country, prompted the development of transport and telecommunications, thus improving links in the country.