Santiago in the Colonial Period

Santiago gradually became a capital city, where the main institutions and buildings were established. One example was the Main Church, the Palace of the Royal Court, the Governor’s House and the Town Council, clear evidence of it becoming a city.

Projecting itself as a strong, emerging city was imperative. To achieve this, various difficulties had to be surmounted: from insurgent attacks from indigenous people who refused to accept Spanish rule, the constant floods of the Mapocho River, not to mention the earthquakes that left their mark and led the city into a state of constant revival.

In the course of the 18th century, Santiago began taking on modern elements. In this period great engineering works were constructed, such as the Cal y Canto Bridge, which linked up the city center with the rural and northern periphery of the Mapocho River.

The people of Spanish origin remained at the top of the social spectrum, being beneficiaries of the privileges and the highest offices in the city. The people who were to seek Chile’s emancipation from that very same aristocracy, the main scenario for this being the city of Santiago, where the First National Government Junta was established on 18th September of 1810.

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