Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas Santiago Reviews
In the Plaza de Armas Oct 28, 2016
Every Spanish colonial city has its Plaza de Armas, where once the occupying army soldiers paraded, and Santiago is no exception. As elsewhere, it occupies a single block within the gridded street pattern of the city’s historic centre. It is surrounded by a number of buildings dating from varied periods (older and more modern) and with a varied degree of interest for the visitor. Among the more notable are:
~ Catedral Metropolitana, dating from around 1775
~ Correo Central, in an elegant 1882 Neo-classical building
~ Palacio de la Real Audencia, once home to the country’s supreme court and now to the national history museum
~ Municipalidad de Santiago or City Hall
Just off the square is the acclaimed Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino as well as the city museum, Museo de Santiago – the latter housed in one of the few 18th century buildings left standing, the Casa Colorada.
But I found the centre of the square itself of more interest than its surroundings, as it’s a great place for people-watching and also has some interesting statues and sculptures. My favourite of these was the one in the south-west corner – a monument to the heroism and courage of the Indigenous People, by the sculptor Enrique Villalobos. In the diagonally-opposite corner is an equestrian statue of Pedro de Valdivia, founder of Santiago and in the centre of the square a fountain which is dedicated to “the glory of Simon Bolivar”.
There are plenty of benches on which to sit for a break from the hard work of sight-seeing, and shade if needed from plenty of trees including tall palms and my favourite jacarandas. The latter were luckily in bloom at the time of our visit and providing a canopy of purple across the square (and indeed much of the city).
There were also a few craftspeople and artists here, with stalls set up to sell their work, and for a while a busker playing in the corner near the monument to the Indigenous People. We chose to ignore the traveller’s unofficial rule that warns against buying coffee at any establishment in the main square rather than cheaper places in the surrounding streets, and sat for a while at one of the outdoor cafes on the west side, finding the cost of our cappuccinos pretty reasonable when you factored in the pleasant setting and people-watching opportunities.
Part of the Chile 2016 travel blog
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Plaza de Armas Nov 17, 2013
Plaza de Armas can be found in every city in Chile. I was joking with my friends from Chile that one of the requirements for town to be the town is to have Plaza de Armas, otherwise it is just a village… This main plaza in Santiago has lots of history and beauty to show. It is the central part of the city grid and easily accessible by metro station and surrounding streets are main arteries for the bus traffic. Huge earthquake that strike Santiago did substantial damage to most of the buildings but they are now mostly fixed and restored. There is always some art selling in the park, musicians play crowd favorites, people enter many “paseos” that are surrounding the square.