I was so impressed with the Central Markets Tour by the folks at Spicy Chile that I decided to venture out for another of their tours before I left Santiago to head north. The Patrimonial Route heads to the western side of the city centre and tours through 19th Century churches, palaces and cités that once belonged to the wealthiest people in the city.
Once again, our guide was incredibly knowledgable and passionate about his adopted city and stopped at the points of interest below to give context to the buildings and art works scattered throughout the neighbourhood. My favourite place on the tour was Pelaqueria Francesca, a complete French style barber shop that is still operating and is in pristine condition (pictured below). The restaurant above is another must-see, and has a fairly well-priced menu including authentic French lemonade.
If you find yourself in Santiago, be sure to pick up one of Spicy Chile's Walking Tour Brochures from a local hostel or información centre, or check out their website – you won't be disappointed! The tours are free and entirely tip based, meaning you pay what you think the experience was worth.
The French-influenced 'Concho y Toro' neighbourhood:
A mural tribute to Victor Jara, whom you can read more about here:
The reason this church is still in such magnificent condition is that it is attached to a Catholic Girls' Primary school. Only students and nuns may use the church:
Our guide speaks to us about the differences and hardships in education in Chile, outside the Chilean equivalent of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development:
The mural reads, “The land belongs to the ones who respect it”. This artwork is repainted weekly!
There are still signs of the damage caused to numerous buildings during the 2010 earthquake. Limited government funding resources means that some of these historic churches are literally falling to pieces.
This place should be on your to-do list whether you take a walking tour or not! See the last photo for directions.
Residents of close inner Cité Hurtado-Rodriguez are known for their community spirit and famous street parties.
The last stop on the tour was the Museo de la Memoria y Los Derechos
(The Museum of Memory and Human Rights) which “records the attempts against the life and dignity of persons occurred between September 11, 1973 and March 10, 1990. Even though the exhibits were mainly in Spanish, I was able to see, hear and learn a great deal about the history of the Pinochet dictatorship that claimed the lives and rights of so many. The museum is free entry and another tour that I highly recommend if you ever happen to be in Santiago.